NJ League of Conservation Voters Issues First Round of Assembly Endorsements

Coughlin and Co. NJ League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV), a leading political voice for the environment in New Jersey, announced its first round of endorsements for the 2019 New Jersey General Assembly Elections.

TRENTON, NJ – The NJ League of Conservation Voters (NJLCV), a leading political voice for the environment in New Jersey, announced its first round of endorsements for the 2019 New Jersey General Assembly Elections today.

“We are very excited to announce the first round of our 2019 endorsements for Assembly,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey LCV. “These candidates are all committed to fighting for healthy communities, creating good local jobs in the clean energy economy, and preserving New Jersey’s natural resources. I am confident that electing environmental champions like these to the Assembly will ensure New Jersey is protected for future generations.”

New Jersey LCV endorsed the following candidates for Assembly:

  • Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale in District 8
  • Assembly Members Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo in District 14
  • Assembly Members Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony Verrelli in District 15
  • Assembly Members Nancy Pinkin and Robert Karabinchak in District 18
  • Darcy Draeger and Lisa Bhimani in District 25
  • Christine Clarke and Laura Fortgang in District 26
  • Assembly Members John McKeon and Mila Jasey in District 27

New Jersey LCV is a nonpartisan organization whose mission is to elect environmental advocates, and is the only New Jersey environmental group with a Political Action Committee (PAC) and a Super PAC. Their first round of endorsements includes eight environmental leaders who are incumbents and six who are challengers.

In District 8, New Jersey LCV endorsed Gina LaPlaca. “As the daughter of two environmental scientists, I am incredibly proud to receive the endorsement of the New Jersey LCV,” said Ms. LaPlaca. “I grew up knowing just how important it is to preserve our natural resources for future generations, and in the Assembly I’ll fight to make sure that South Jersey residents have a clean environment.”

LaPlaca’s running mate, Mark Natale is also endorsed by New Jersey LCV’s in District 8 and added, “I could not be more proud to receive New Jersey LCV’s endorsement. New Jersey LCV does work I find vitally important, in helping make sure my daughter’s generation has a clean and sustainable environment. I greatly appreciate their support, and I look forward to working with them in Trenton.”

In District 14, in regards to New Jersey LCV’s endorsement of Assemblyman DeAngelo, he said, “I’m honored to be endorsed by the New Jersey LCV. I look forward to working with the organization and its members to fight climate change, protect our environment, and grow renewable energy generation right here in New Jersey.”

Also receiving New Jersey LCV’s endorsement in District 14, Assemblyman Benson remarked, “I’m honored to receive an endorsement from the New Jersey LCV. With devastating rollbacks in environmental protection on the federal level, New Jersey must lead the fight in protecting our air, water, and natural resources. I am proud to stand with the New Jersey LCV in working to ensure that our state is doing everything we can to maintain our commitment to safeguarding natural resources for generations to come.”

In District 15, New Jersey LCV endorsed Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson who responded by saying, “Environmental consciousness, clean water and breathable air are crucial from the City of Trenton to the hills of West Amwell, and it’s what I’m fighting for every day in the legislature.”

Assemblyman Verrelli, in regards to his endorsement in District 15 added, “I am honored to be endorsed by New Jersey LCV. I have and will always fight for ambitious policies that preserve and protect our environment, serve justice to bad actors, combat climate change, expand our renewable-energy infrastructure, and ensure that we breathe clean air and drink clean water. New Jersey should be a leader in our shared journey towards a completely sustainable environment, economy, and planet.”

Of New Jersey LCV’s endorsement of Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin in District 18, Pinkin said, “The stakes for protecting our environment have never been higher. The health of our children and the future of our planet and its resources are fully dependent on the choices we make right now. I strongly believe in a clean energy economy, powered by renewable resources and efficiency. I believe we must continue to pioneer safer, more innovative, more environmentally sound ways of leading our individual lives and our communities, even if that means changing some of our most ingrained behaviors. We must protect our open space, clean drinking water, and the quality of our air. We must strengthen our commitment to recycling all resources and improve our capabilities to do so. We must address the environmental contaminations that come as a result of being an older, industrial state.  We must do all we can to deal with climate change. I remain committed to protecting the environment and the health and welfare of our residents. I am humbled to receive the endorsement of the New Jersey LCV, I thank them for their continued support, and I am eager to continue working with them as a team to protect our environment and communities.”

Assemblyman Karabinchak, also endorsed in LD 18, said, “I am grateful to New Jersey LCV for their support and endorsement this year. Clean air, clean water, and open spaces are meant for everyone to enjoy and I am committed to ensuring New Jersey is a healthy environment for future generations. We must continue investing in renewable energy, sustainable development, and environmentally responsible infrastructure to address the reality of climate change.”

The first round of New Jersey LCV endorsements continued in District 25 with Darcy Draeger and Lisa Bhimani. Drager responded to the endorsement saying, “Thank you to New Jersey LCV for the support. Clean air and clean water are not just environmental issues — they are economic and public health issues as well. Unfortunately, several communities in our district are already facing the sharp consequences of environmental neglect. In the Assembly I’ll fight to protect our natural resources and the communities that depend upon them every day.”

Bhimani also commented on the endorsement saying, “I am honored to have the support of New Jersey LCV. As a doctor, I know first-hand how important clean water and clean air are to public health. It is critical we protect our environment for generations to come and I am committed to making that goal a top priority in the Assembly.”

In LD 26, New Jersey LCV endorsed Christine Clarke who responded by saying, “As an environmental activist, grassroots organizer and mother-of-four dedicated to environmental conservation and climate action, it has been a privilege to work with New Jersey LCV members on so many projects to protect New Jersey’s natural resources and public health. I’m elated to have New Jersey LCV’s support and will continue working hard to advance a thriving clean energy future for our state.”

Also endorsed in LD 26 is Laura Fortgang. On the endorsement Laura states, “I am so grateful for the endorsement of New Jersey LCV, a leading advocate for our fundamental needs: clean water, air and New Jersey’s precious open spaces. My district is on the front lines of environmental attacks. We proudly protect the drinking water for six million people in New Jersey and beyond.  We steward swamps and woodlands and provide recreation for generations of families. But our incumbents, Jay Webber and BettyLou DeCroce have consistently voted against forward looking fiscal and environmental solutions, against removing lead from drinking water, against protecting against storm run-off which is currently decimating the communities around Lake Hopatcong, against protecting homes from flooding.  This is the year for northern New Jersey to elect representatives who will once again protect our families’ basic needs. We can’t afford not to.”

The final candidates endorsed by New Jersey LCV in their first round of endorsements are Assemblyman McKeon and Assemblywoman Jasey in LD 27. McKeon responded by stating, “As one our state’s most dedicated environmental advocacy organizations, I am honored to receive the endorsement of New Jersey LCV. Over the last two years, our state has made great strides in reversing the disastrous environmental policies of our former Governor and today, our state is not only seen as a national leader in the fight against climate change but as a bulwark against President Trump’s anti-science and climate- skeptic administration. We have rejoined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and put our state on a pathway to 100% clean renewable energy. We have begun phasing out our reliance on fossil fuels and spurring the green economy that will create new and high paying jobs. We have ensured our state has a permanent funding source to preserve our most fertile soil, protect our pristine open space and safeguard our drinking water. We have enacted a flood defense act, which will allow communities to protect themselves from the negative effects of climate change clean up polluted runoff. While I am proud of our accomplishments, I realize more can be done. I pledge to continue combating the negative effects of climate change, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and protecting our clean air and water.”

Assemblywoman Jasey on the endorsement acknowledged, “New Jersey LCV is one of our premiere environmental advocacy and watchdog organizations, and I am honored to receive its endorsement. The disastrous consequences of climate change are all around us, and I have worked for more than a decade sponsoring and supporting initiatives to combat it. New Jersey is leading the effort to insure we and future generations will have pure, plentiful drinking water, abundant natural resources and preserved precious open space. I pledge to continue my efforts to insure we prohibit fracking waste, promote recycling, responsibly ban single use plastics, encourage renewable energy efforts and end our over-reliance on fossil fuel. Protecting the environment is our greatest responsibility as global citizens in the 21st century. Our quality of life; indeed, our very existence, depends upon the decisions we make and the actions we now take.”

New Jersey LCV was the first environmental organization to endorse Phil Murphy for Governor, four months before the gubernatorial primary. The group ran an extensive paid voter education and turnout effort to educate the state about Phil Murphy’s pro-environmental agenda. In the 2017 election cycle, the group’s PAC and Super PAC spent over $400,000 on endorsed candidates including gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, a record-shattering amount by an environmental organization in New Jersey and the most of any non-labor issue organizations.

A full list of these first-round endorsements can be found here including biographies of the endorsees. A full list of past endorsements can be found here.

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