Alright, Garden State! This year New Jersey’s primary is on June 5. So get ready to learn about all the sustainable politicians running before you vote! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in New Jersey
Your state has a semi-closed poll type. This means that if you’re registered with a political party, you can only vote for a candidate in your party. But if you’re an unaffiliated voter, you don’t have to worry about parties when you vote. A candidate only needs the most votes to move on to the general election in November.
All the things on the ballot this year: U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, school boards, and municipal government.
Remember, you only vote for one senator.
Our pick: Bob Menendez – (Campaign site)
- Incumbent since 2006
Bob has already supported legislation that aims to reduce greenhouse emissions and keep restrictions on offshore drilling intact. He’s protected your state’s coasts and green spaces and wants to continue pushing for renewable energy in New Jersey. In 1998, he took a political courage test, and even back then he supported reducing pollution and strengthening the Clean Air & Water Acts (source).
Other Senator Candidates:
- Lisa McCormick (D)
- Brian Goldberg (R)
- Bob Hugin (R)
- Antonio N. Sabas (R) – Supports sustainability and wants to ban fracking.
- Dana Wefer (R)
- Murray Sabrin (Libertarian)
- Muhammad Usman (Independent)
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Your incumbent is doing pretty well, but we’re giving our pick to the new guy.
Our pick: Robert Carlson
- Information technology director
We like Robert for his bold promise to refuse support for “any initiatives that will have adverse effects that accelerate climate change,” and his belief that climate change is the biggest problem that the world is facing today. Robert wants all new economic and job programs to consider the environment to make sure climate change gets addressed and integrated into every sector in the country. Making changes now prevents droughts, food shortages, and mass migrations later.
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Donald Norcross (D) – (Campaign Site) – Incumbent – Your current representative supports a number of great green things, like renewable energy, the Clean Power Plan, and the Superfund cleanup initiative. He also opposes offshore drilling. You should note, however, that he voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline (source).
- Scot John Tomaszewski (D)
- Paul Dilks (R)
Our pick: Nathan Kleinman
- Co-founder of Experimental Farm Network
- Political organizer
- Summary: Super advocate for sustainable farming
Okay we have lots to cover for Nathan. First off, he seeks to immediately address climate concerns with a number of solutions, including renewable energy, and he has a plan to do it. Nathan wants to provide tax incentives and fund research to help the push for green energy. He also wants to eliminate tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and implement taxes on profits from nonrenewable resources (and also prohibit the companies from increasing consumer expenses to take care of these taxes for them). He wants to see a stronger EPA that can preserve wildlife and stop offshore drilling.
Nathan is also a sustainable farmer. He knows the harmful effects industrial farming imposes on human health and the environment, and his professional mission is to “[revolutionize] agriculture to help fight climate change.” How? First off, he’s already created a nonprofit organization called Experimental Farm Network that aims to bring together farmers, gardeners, and researchers in an effort to develop and practice more sustainable farming methods. As a congressman, Nathan plans to end subsidies for industrial farming and incentivize organic and sustainable farming methods. He also wants to create a National Land Bank to take empty or abandoned land, giving it over to farmers for regenerative farming methods. To learn more about these practices and their importance in the environment, read up on his website!
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Will Cunningham (D) – Wants to stop offshore drilling and minimize the impact land development has on the environment.
- Jeff Van Drew (D)
- Tanzie Youngblood (D)
- Samuel Fiocchi (R)
- Seth Grossman (R)
- Hirsh Singh (R)
- Robert Turkavage (R) – Supports both renewable and nonrenewable energy source development here at home and opposes offshore drilling.
Our pick: Andrew Kim
- National security expert
Andrew sees a need to address climate change as a national security crisis. He knows how important a strong EPA is to our country, as well as being a participant in the Paris Climate Agreement. Andrew is very anti-offshore drilling, which is a good thing because New Jersey has a lot of coasts that could be affected by this.
Other District 3 Candidates:
Our pick: Jim Keady
- Former City Councilman
- Nonprofit director of Educating for Justice
- Summary: Care for the coasts!
Jim worries about the effect climate change will have for people around the world. Without global efforts like the Paris Climate Agreement, climate change could lead to more disastrous storms like the one Puerto Rico is still trying to recover from. Jim fears for the likely possibility of climate refugees and knows that the world is not ready to those greatly displaced by superstorms, coastal erosion, and food shortages.
So what’s he going to do about it? Jim is calling for a “green industrial revolution” in which we make a full transition to renewable energy by 2035. To do so, he wants to incentivize the use of green energy and restrict natural resource extraction. Jim also supports the Coastal State Climate Preparedness Act, which requires a plan of response and prevention of climate change effects for coastal areas. This is a big deal for a state like New Jersey because your state has a lot of coasts and would be greatly affected by climate change. Jim also values a strong EPA and the public’s knowledge of its current lack of purpose and enforcement.
Other District 4 Candidates:
- Josh Welle (D) – Opposes offshore drilling and supports the National Ocean Policy.
- Chris Smith (R) – Incumbent – In favor of renewable energy (source).
- Felicia Stoler (The Inclusion Candidate) – Supports natural resource and green space preservation and renewable energy.
Okay, District 5, you don’t have that many candidates and none of them talk about environmental issues on their campaign websites. The top pick doesn’t seem very enthusiastic about sustainability, so you should contact his office and tell him you care about these issues.
Our pick: Josh Gottheimer
- Incumbent since 2016
- Worked in the White House under Clinton
Josh introduced a bill that makes sure drinking water in public schools are safe to drink and free of lead and other harmful pollutants. Other than this, he doesn’t seem to talk about sustainability very much. Get in contact with his office here.
Other District 5 Candidates:
Our pick: Frank Pallone – (Campaign Site)
- Incumbent since 1988
- Energy and Commerce Committee
- Subcommittee on Environment
- Summary: All about protecting New Jersey
A lot of Frank’s concerns with the environment stem from how it impacts you at home in New Jersey. He’s worried about climate change’s effects on the coast and how this could impact the state. Therefore, Frank is anti-offshore drilling and has even introduced the COAST Anti-Drilling Act to prohibit any offshore drilling of the country’s east coasts. Additionally, he introduced the BEACH Act to ensure the quality of water along oceanic beaches. Frank is also looking to continue the expansion of renewable energy, cleaning up toxic waste sites in New Jersey, ensuring clean drinking water, and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Other District 6 Candidates:
- Javahn Walker (D) – Opposes offshore drilling, fracking, and pipelines. Supports carbon tax, small/independent farms, and renewable energy (source).
- Rich Pezzullo (R) – Anti-vote! Rich doesn’t think we should be fighting the “alleged ‘Global Warming’” and is happy about the Paris Agreement withdrawal.
This was a little tricky because your current representative tries selling his pro-environmental views, but they don’t align with his voting record. All the other candidates have solid stances.
Our pick: Peter Jacob
- Worked for Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
- Environmental sustainability campaigner
We like Peter’s straight-to-the-point attitude when it comes to the environment. Here are the things he wants to see: incentives for clean energy to get the country running on 100% renewables by 2035, working internationally to help mitigate the effects of climate change, and oppose all proposed gas pipelines.
Other District 7 Candidates:
- Goutam Jois (D) – Also supports 100% renewable energy by 2035 by pledging to co-sponsor the OFF Act.
- Tom Malinowski (D) – Opposes the PennEast Pipeline, wants to protect clean water, air, soil and supports a renewable energy increase.
- Leonard Lance (R) – (Campaign Site) – Incumbent – So this guy says he’s invested in the environment by opposing drilling, pushing for site cleanup, and being a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus. However, he has a very low LCV score at 23%, meaning he hasn’t actually voted in the environment’s favor that much.
- Raafat Barsoom (R)
- Lindsay Brown (R) – Supports more EPA programs to ensure clean air and water (source).
Our pick: Albio Sires
- Incumbent since 2006
- West New York mayor 1995-2006
Albio is quite disapproving of the Paris Climate Agreement withdrawal. He knows that global warming is a global problem, and requires global solutions and efforts. Reducing our harmful greenhouse gas emissions is critical in addressing climate change. And as a wealthy and powerful country, Albio sees no reason that we can’t be a world leader when it comes to the environment.
Other District 8 Candidates:
- John Muniz (R)
Our pick: Bill Pascrell – (Campaign site)
- Incumbent since 1996
- Former member of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
- Summary: Clean H2O
Bill is all about energy efficiency and clean water. He helped fight for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is now a law that works to reduce fossil fuel dependency through increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency. It also helped secure funds for clean water, flood control, and restoration projects.
For water, Bill introduced the Water Quality Investment Act, an amendment to the Clean Water Act that provides funds to repair sewer systems and ensure water quality. He has also pushed for cleaning up several contaminated sites in New Jersey, specifically in your district.
Other District 9 Candidates:
- William Henry (D) – Supports reducing greenhouse gases, but opposes federal funding of renewable energy development (source).
- Eric Fisher (R)
Donald is proud of New Jersey’s lead with residents and businesses utilizing solar panels for energy and the increase of wind turbines along the coast. He hopes to continue this growth of renewable energy in the state and throughout the rest of the country. How? Well, he’s got an act for that. GREEN Jobs Act provides small businesses with tools to employ low-income communities in green energy jobs, thus increasing jobs AND combating climate change by increasing renewable energy production and reducing carbon pollution. And a bonus! He’s also introduced the SMART Grid Study Act to help create plans for updating the electric grid, aka helping with energy efficiency.
Other District 10 Candidates:
- Aaron Fraser (D)
- Agha Khan (R) – Supports both renewable and nonrenewable energy production.
Well District 11, you have some pretty great candidates! We’ve highlighted our top two, but you still have some honorable mentions!
- Former Assistant Attorney General
- Summary: Big on cleanup
So Mitchell has already spent a lot of time in preservation and cleanup with projects at the Kellogg Club and being active in clubs like Sustainable Morristown. Participating in green initiatives at the local level shows that Mitchell is personally invested in increasing sustainable practices, he’s not just talking the talk. In office, Mitchell promises to work toward banning fracking and offshore drilling, as well as supporting policies that promote renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions.
- Research scientist (studies how natural environment affects communities)
- Summary: Plans for waste
As a researcher, Alison has put a lot of thought into sustainability already. One way to help the environment is by revamping our waste management practices by composting much more than we do. Composting organic waste can prevent a lot of methane emissions because decomposing waste trapped in landfills generates a lot of that harmful stuff. Alison also wants to target other ways of reducing harmful emissions by pushing for renewable energy and protecting our natural carbon-absorbing habitats, aka forests and oceans.
Other District 11 Candidates:
- Tamara Harris (D) – Will promote research and development of green energy and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Mikie Sherrill (D) – Wants to end foreign fuel dependency with clean energy and implement more environmental protections.
- Mark Washburne (D)
- Patrick Allocco (R)
- Peter de Neufville (R) – Supports Clean Air and Water Acts and opposes offshore drilling and pipeline construction proposals.
- Antony Ghee (R)
- Martin Hewitt (R)
- Jay Webber (R) – Support proactive measures for flood prevention and protections for endangered species.
- Incumbent since 2014
- New Jersey General Assembly 1998-2014
Bonnie has fought for energy efficiency for a long time, and now she’s looking ahead for sustainable policies in regards to energy with renewable sources and a continued look at efficiency. She wants to reduce our fossil fuel dependency and, in doing so, reduce our pollution. Bonnie hopes to preserve clean air, water, farmland, green spaces, and wildlife habitats.