Hello Maryland! Keep things green and sustainable by voting for eco-friendly candidates in your congressional primary election. To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Maryland
In Maryland, political parties are allowed to decide what kind of poll to run. However, most of the time the parties choose a closed poll type. This requires you to register with a political party in order to vote in the primary on June 26. Then, you can only vote for candidates in your political party. Candidates move onto the general election in November with the most votes.
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, other state executives, State House, State Senate, State Supreme Court, intermediate appellate court, local judges, school boards, and municipal government.
You have a few good options, so don’t forget to check out the honorable mentions!
- Incumbent since 2006
- United States House of Representatives, District 3, 1987-2006
- Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
- Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife
- Summary: Proven record with Congress
Ben is particularly concerned for Maryland when it comes to climate change since 70% of the state lives in coastal areas. Climate change should be a concern to coastal residents because the effects of it include increased super storms and floods, causing significant damage and danger to coastal communities. And if left unaddressed, it would likely displace hundreds from their homes.
So, preventing the effects of climate change is something Ben has been working towards in office already. He was a big advocate for the Clean Power Plan, which works to reduce carbon emissions. Alongside this, Ben understand the need to develop more alternative fuels and introduce cleaner options.
In Congress, Ben supported the Water Resources Development Act. The bill grants funds to replace lead pipes in schools, daycares, and low-income communities, which protects the public from contaminated drinking water and making sure the water infrastructure is safe. Furthermore, Ben has worked to protect ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay by supporting the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery Program, which stretches through Maryland and Virginia, and works to restore oyster populations in the bay by cleaning the waters and making the bay habitable for many species.
Other Senator Candidates:
- Evan Cronhardt (R) – Honorable mention! Evan is looking to introduce more green energy sources and reducing coal (and other fossil fuels). He also considers carbon capture as a way to fuel vehicles, by converting it to alcohol fuels. Additionally, he wants to model the Netherland’s waste management plants in our country. This plan recycles over half of the country’s waste and dedicates some waste as biomass energy. He also wants to keep EPA fully funded in order to protect the public and keep air, land, and water clean of pollutants.
- Richard Vaughn (D) – Honorable mention! Richard is very anti-fracking and wants to ban the practice in Maryland while developing more renewable resources, especially solar. He also supports funding water infrastructure improvements in order to clear any drinking water of lead (which has already happened in some schools in your state).
- Erik Jetmir (D)
- Chelsea Manning (D)
- Marcia Morgan (D) – Wants to keep water safe from waste from agricultural and drilling industries.
- Jerome Segal (D) – Really big on planting millions of trees through a tree-planting program and wants to expand funding to urban and small sustainable farms.
- Debbie Wilson (D)
- Lih Young (D) – Supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Tony Campbell (R) – Opposes funding renewable energy, but supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Chris Chaffee (R) – Opposes funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Nnabu Eze (R)
- John Graziani (R)
- Christina Grigorian (R)
- Albert Howard (R)
- Bill Krehnbrink (R)
- Gerald Smith (R)
- Blaine Taylor (R) – Supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Brian Vaeth (R)
- Arvin Vohra (Libertarian)
- Neal Simon (Independent)
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Our pick: Michael Pullen
Michael really wants to keep the Chesapeake Bay protected and continue its restoration by partnering with farmers and civic leaders to speed up the restoration process. He understands how important it is to address these types of things, along with other polluted areas and preventing the effects of climate change because doing nothing threatens this coastal district with rising sea levels. To reduce emissions and transition away from fossil fuels, Michael supports Maryland’s offshore wind proposal, which would generate clean energy for hundreds of thousands of homes.
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Allison Galbraith (D) – Fully supports the increase of renewable energy (like wind, solar, and hydro) in order to reduce carbon emissions and keep air, water, and food safe and free of pollutants.
- Jesse Colvin (D) – Big on protecting the Chesapeake Bay and restoring its ecosystems. Also supports funding renewable energy developments (source).
- Michael Brown (D)
- Erik Lane (D)
- Steve Worton (D) – Wants to reduce fossil fuel use and offshore drilling by increasing renewable energy sources.
- Andy Harris (R) – incumbent – Supports energy independence, including domestic natural gas and oil, extracted in “an environmentally safe and conscientious manner” and shows interest in looking for cleaner sources. He wants to lift bans on fossil fuel exploration in some parts of the country in order to obtain energy independence. Andy also supports the Keystone XL pipeline.
- Martin Elborn (R)
- Lamont Taylor (R)
- Jenica Martin (Libertarian) – Supports renewable energy developments and conserving the environment.
You don’t have a straight-up endorsement for you, District 2, but we’ll give you the information that we have.
Your current representative is not a bad choice. In fact, he’s done a number of great things, including pushing for the Chesapeake Clean Water & Ecosystem Restoration Act (which reduces pollution and runoff in the bay) and opposing any legislation that intends to weaken the EPA or the Clean Air & Water Acts. Additionally, he supported bills to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and programs that encourage farmers, businesses, and residents to increase energy efficiency through tax credits. All these things, we love. However, Dutch supports an “all of the above” energy approach, meaning it isn’t all about the renewables (but he does express a strong preference for developing these further). Dutch is also looking at our natural gas reserves and tapping into this non-renewable energy source as a way of achieving energy independence. That being said, he does explain his willingness to consider supporting a carbon tax and other legislation that ensures the “environmentally safe” means of using and extracting fossil fuels.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Jake Pretot (D) – Wants to keep environmental protections in place without any rollbacks and make sure there is funding for the Chesapeake Bay’s restoration (which was completely cut in the proposed budget). He also supports developing renewable energy and transitioning away from fossil fuels.
- Liz Matory (R)
- Hubert Owens Jr. (R)
- Mark Shell (R) – Supports funding renewable energy developments but opposes regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Mitchell Toland Jr. (R)
- Michael Carney (Libertarian)
- Incumbent since 2007
- Energy and Commerce
- Subcommittee on Energy
- Co-chair of the bipartisan Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus
- Summary: Wrote some good green acts and supports many more.
We have a lot of great things to cover for John, but we’ll start with the acts he’s written. First, we have the No Child Left Inside Act. This act (which has been incorporated into a new federal education act, that passed into law) encourages outdoor learning and environmental education for children to carry on into healthy lifestyles. Next up, the Government By the People Act. This act deals more with government technicalities than the environment, however, it’s worth noting because of how much oil companies influence elections, and therefore, policies. John’s act works against this kind of influence by encouraging the people’s involvement in supporting campaigns through donation matches for individuals. Lastly, John wrote a bill to promote local action in the Chesapeake Bay cleanup, called Save the Chesapeake Bay Homeowner Act.
When it comes to the Bay, John is pretty concerned. He’s worked hard to educate fellow congresspeople on the matter and gain their attention and support for its restoration. He fully supports the “pollution diet” plan from the EPA, which works to reduce runoff from multiple states into the Bay watershed.
Additionally, John cosponsors bills that place more fracking restrictions and regulations in order to protect drinking water, prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Other District 3 Candidates:
- Adam DeMarco (D) – Sees environmental protection as absolutely necessary for protection and opportunity. He supports expanding and transitioning to clean, renewable energy, especially in your district.
- John Rea (D)
- Eduardo Rosas (D) – Supports funding renewable energy production and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Charles Anthony (R)
- Rob Seyfferth (R)
- David Lashar (Libertarian)
- Incumbent since 2016
- Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland, 2006-2015
Anthony has been working towards environmental solutions for a while. He understands the importance of regulation in order to protect the air, water, and land, especially when it comes to the Chesapeake Bay. He supported initiatives to plant crops near the Bay to protect it from runoff, as well as fully supporting the Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Plan in order to clean up the Bay and rebuild the aquatic ecosystems.
Furthermore, Anthony supported the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, which expands the state’s renewable energy with wind. He’s also helped with energy efficiency and reducing energy demand with goals for EmPOWER Maryland. Plus, he showed support for a 10-State cooperative plan to reduce carbon emissions.
In Congress, Anthony vows to support clean energy with tax incentives, support a strengthening of the Clean Water Act, and support and implement the Clean Power Plan (which helps reduce emissions). He’s also focused on recognizing environmental injustice when it comes to lower-income communities and working to level and fight the effects of climate change across the country, not just those with money.
Other District 4 Candidates:
- George McDermott (R) – Honorable mention! All of our environmental info for George is coming from a political courage test in 2016, but the results here are good and green! He supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions, fearing for future generations if climate change is not addressed on a large scale. He is also “highly skeptical” of the fracking industry to ensure the safety of the land and water near fracking sites, and therefore supports stricter fracking regulations. Georgle also opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline (source).
- David Bishop (Libertarian) – “My career is in environmental protection focusing on petroleum clean up and storage, not necessarily climate studies.”
- Incumbent since 1981
Steny has been supporting major environmental bills for a long time. He’s advocated for funding to protect Maryland’s open spaces and wildlife, and initiatives to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay and surrounding rivers. He’s concerned with keeping air, land, and water free of pollutants and safe for the public, which is why he supports an increase in renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
Other District 5 Candidates:
- Dennis Fritz (D)
- William Devine III (R)
- Johnny Rice (R) – Supports expanding hydropower (source).
- Jacob Pulcher (Libertarian)
This candidate pool is a green-mine! Lots of great candidates to choose from here, we’ve outlined what all the sustainable candidates are focusing on and summarized the platforms of our top two picks.
- State senator
- Summary: 100% LCV rating, diverse sustainable topics
Roger has a lot of great things on his sustainable resume! We’ll start with his work against fossil fuels. For one, he introduced Maryland’s very first anti-fracking legislation. You’ve got an anti-fracking pioneer in your district. Last year, he helped put a halt to your Governor’s plans to lessen fracking regulations, and thus, stopping the drilling plans.
Additionally, Roger has fought for restoring the Chesapeake Bay with the Oyster Shell Recovery Tax Credit program, which promotes the continued restoration of oysters in the bay, along with the growth of the bay’s ecosystems. He also helped implement research initiatives on pesticide use, more clean energy programs via incentives and transitions away from coal, and legislation that provides transitional guides towards sustainable and organic farming.
- State delegate
- Summary: Fact-based perspective and actions
Aruna is looking to the science when it comes to making environmental policy decisions, which shows as her time working for the state government. While serving in the General Assembly, she co-sponsored an act to ban fracking in your state. What a win! Instead, she’s a big supporter of renewable energy and opposed a bill that proposed a ban on wind-energy stations in your state. Furthermore, she’s looking to continue to increase regulations and restrictions on the coal industry in order to reduce pollution and protect the bay.
In Congress, Aruna wants to get the country back into the Paris Climate Agreement and lead the way with renewable energy and fighting climate change. She vows to oppose the “Halliburton” loophole that excludes natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act, knowing that protecting the public should be the priority. Lastly, she wants to increase industrial farming regulations and encourage sustainable farming practices.
Other District 6 Candidates:
- George English (D) – Honorable mention! George is all about conserving and preserving when it comes to the environment. He notes how beneficial renewable energy production is for public health, environmental health, national security, and our economy, which is why he’s shooting for a full transition by 2065. George also opposes fracking and hopes to reduce the practice with the increase of renewables. He’s pretty fond of hybrid and energy efficient vehicles, as well as electrifying and expanding the country’s rail system.
- David Trone (D) – Honorable mention! David has a lot of environmental stuff on his mind. First up, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. Secondly, ensuring the Clean Power Plan remains intact and enforceable. Then, he’s looking to keep the EPA fully funded and properly functional, with a strengthening of the Clean Air Act. Additionally, he supports protecting the wildlife, investing in clean, renewable energy, and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
- Andrew Duck (D) – Honorable mention! Andrew wants to invest in renewable sources to help reduce pollution. He supports carbon “draw down” measures to get current pollutants out of the atmosphere with the creation of a research organization called Advanced Research Projects Agency for Carbon (ARPA-C). He is also the operations director of a green energy research company, which shows his existing professional commitment to fighting climate change.
- Chris Graves (D) – Wants to transition fully to renewable energy within 40 years through increased energy efficiency, incentives, phasing out coal and gas power plants, and increasing research in green energy. He also wants to reduce emissions with increased renewable energy, carbon taxes, and state-to-state cooperation.
- Nadia Hashimi (D) – Supports clean energy investments, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and reducing carbon emissions.
- Christopher Hearsey (D) – Vows to protect Maryland’s state and national parks, along with fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gases.
- Kurt Elsasser (R)
- Amie Hoeber (R) – Opposes the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Lisa Lloyd (R) – Opposes funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Brad Rohrs (R) – Finds regulations on certain fossil fuel energy productions as “burdensome” and supports using all forms of domestic energy.
- Kevin Caldwell (Libertarian)
- George Gluck (Green Party)
- Ted Athey (Independent) (This seems like we’ve linked you to the wrong place but this is the actual campaign website linked on his Facebook page.)
Our pick: Elijah Cummings
- Incumbent since 1996
- Summary: I am the Elijah. I speak for the Bay.
Elijah supports some good sustainable basics, like renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions, but his big green ticket is the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act. We’ve got a lot to talk about with this.
Broadly, the act determines different government responsibilities for the Bay watershed, including local, state, and federal levels. (Note that this would extend to surrounding states too, not just Maryland.) In doing so, it helps hold polluters and governments responsible when it comes to restoration and pollution prevention. While acknowledging previous research done on the bay, the act requires the state governments to develop responsibility and restoration plans and send progress reports to the EPA and the public, specifically addressing progress with preventing nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment pollution in the bay. The act also provides a huge sum of money to the cleanup efforts for the bay and promotes incentives for local businesses to also get involved in the cleanup.
Other District 7 Candidates:
- Anthony Carter Sr. (D)
- John Moser (D) – Supports funding renewables, regulating greenhouse gas emissions, but opposes cap-and-trade policies (source).
- Charles Smith (D)
- Charles Stokes (D)
- Ray Bly (R) – Opposes funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Richmond Davis (R)
- Thomas Harris (R) – Supports funding renewable energy but opposes regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- William Newton (R) – In 2016, a political courage test that William completed shows that he does not believe human activity contributes to climate change (source).
- Michael Pearson (R)
- David Griggs (Libertarian)
Our pick: Jamie Raskin
- Incumbent since 2016
- Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy and Environment
Jamie has worked to increase renewable energy in Maryland already by co-sponsoring the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act, which aims to reduce 40% of the emissions by 2030. He also helped pass standards that require the state to develop recycling and composting plans with the Green Maryland Act. In Congress, Jamie plans to continue this kind of work and support a carbon tax, carbon fee-and-dividend policies, and a “Green Deal” that aims to fight climate change.
Other District 8 Candidates:
- Utam Paul (D)
- Summer Spring (D) – Supports increasing renewable energy and a carbon dividend plan in order to move away from fossil fuels and transition into clean energy, along with investing in public transportation.
- Bridgette Cooper (R)
- John Walsh (R)
- Victor Williams (R)
- Jasen Wunder (Libertarian)