Here we review sustainable U.S. House of Representative candidates in North Carolina. These have shown some dedication to environmental concerns in your state. For more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in North Carolina
North Carolina’s primary election is on Tuesday, May 8. To move forward to the midterm elections, a candidate must win 40% of the votes plus one. If candidates do not meet this requirement, a runoff election will be held on July 17 for federal office (the candidates we cover in this review) or on June 26 for non-federal positions.
In this election, voters can elect candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate, State House, State Supreme Court, intermediate appellate courts, local judges, school boards, and municipal government. Note that you will not be voting for U.S. Senate this time around, which gives you one less thing to worry about! North Carolina has a semi-closed poll type, meaning it’s only open to unaffiliated voters. In other words, if you’re registered with a political party, you must vote for a candidate in that party. So, be sure to take note of the candidates’ party affiliation!
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Our Recommendation: G.K. Butterfield
- Incumbent since 2004
- North Carolina Resident Superior Court Judge from 1988 to 2001
- Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court from 2001 to 2002
- North Carolina Special Superior Court Judge from 2002 to 2004
- Voting record proves some support for environmental causes
Although Butterfield’s campaign site does not discuss environmental concerns, his voting record does show his support. For one, he voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline. This pipeline would run across the country from Alberta, Canada, carrying in oil, which the EPA advised against. He also supports funding developments in renewable energy and government regulation of greenhouse gases.(Source).
Other District 1 Candidates:
District 2 has a few good options. We’ve fully reviewed our recommendation, but also noted one other candidate’s sustainable platform.
Our recommendation: Ken Romley
- Entrepreneur–created 4 tech-based businesses
- Romley addresses the environment by encouraging others to volunteer
Romley’s campaign outlines a somewhat aggressive approach to solving environmental concerns. He starts by discussing the threat of climate change and its potential dangers for North Carolina. (Especially considering you state’s location in Hurricane Alley.) Romley strongly supports government regulation of corporation’s pollution and is quick to point out companies and politicians that are not doing enough work in this area.
His website encourages visitors to signup for volunteer opportunity alerts to help citizens combat climate change here.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Linda Coleman(D) – Former State Representative
- Wendy May (D) – Honorable Mention key points:
- Wendy has pledged to support Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, which is a bill that would curb America’s use of fossil fuels and push for clean energy sources. By 2035, we would be a 100% clean energy country.
- She is focused on protecting clean air and water.
- She values resources and supports partnering with farmers to conserve these resources.
- George Holding (R) – Incumbent. Note: While serving as your representative, he voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline (source).
- Allen Chesser (R)
- Jeff Matemu(L)
- Timmy Strickland (I)
District 3 does not have very promising sustainable candidates. We recommend looking further into other key issues of importance.
Our recommendation: Phil Law
- Ex-Marine/Emergency response team trainer
- Supports sustainable fish populations without catch share programs (!?)
Law’s platform addresses sustainability by highlighting his concerns with conserving North Carolina’s natural resources and fish supply. He is big on maintaining fish populations without government regulations that support catch share programs. (Which is kind of counterproductive, because catch share programs scientifically determine the maximum catch total, which is then divided up amongst fishermen.) So note that he wants to maintain fish populations, but does not support a method designed for sustainable fishing with economic and environmental benefits.
Other District 3 Candidates:
- Walter Jones (R) – Incumbent. Note that while serving as your Representative, Jones voted for the Keystone XL pipeline. His voting record also shows that he does not support federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (source). With that in mind, Jones is our anti-recommendation.
- Scott Dasey (R)
District 4 has a few good options. We’ve highlighted our recommendation and noted things worth mentioning for the other candidates.
Our recommendation: David Price
- Incumbent since 1997 (also served 1987-1995)
- Proven “green” stance with voting record
While serving as Representative, Price has voted against the Keystone XL pipeline and voted for legislature (such as “Alternative Energy Tax Incentives”) that proves his dedication to funding clean energy. Such developments encourage companies to use alternative energy by giving them tax credits for doing so (source).
He has also supported bills that promote government regulations of corporations’ greenhouse emissions by voting for the “Energy and Environmental Law Amendments (‘Cap and Trade’).” This reform establishes a goal for the U.S. to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 82% (from 2005) by 2050 (source).
Other District 4 Candidates:
- Richard Watkins (D) – an honorable mention to this good fellow!
- His website states, “There is no other issue more pressing than protecting the earth and the resources that keep us alive.” He also calls for “drastic efforts” and “immediate responses from those in power.” Definitely has a lot of feelings about this.
- Steve Von Loor (R)
- Barbara Howe (L) – Note that this candidate has responded to a Political Courage Test, stating she does not support funding for developing energy resources (renewable or nonrenewable) or federal regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
- Scerry Perry Whitlock (L)
- Michelle Laws (D)
- Lee Brian (R)
This district has another few good sustainable candidates, so be sure to catch our honorable mentions!
Our recommendation: Jenny Marshall
- Public school teacher
- Supports farming communities and “green” legislature
Marshall’s teaching background benefits the sustainable cause in a few ways. For one, she supports farm-to-school programs. Such programs would mean schools buy food (to serve for student lunches) from local farms. This supports local sustainability for food resources and boosts your local economy. She values agricultural programs in schools (both k-12 and secondary education) and vows to push for partnering with farmers to conserve North Carolina’s natural resources. (But does not clarify how or what to conserve.)
On a larger scale than your farming communities, Marshall admits that “We only have one earth and we must take care of it.” Therefore, she promises to support a renewable electricity standard. This would shift energy sources away from fossil fuels by creating renewable energy targets for companies. She also supports a fracking ban and finds that the EPA’s fracking regulations are not harsh enough (!!!) on oil and gas companies. The current regulations, she argues, give them loopholes that she vows to remove. Marshall’s sustainable support aims local and global, which is why she makes such a great choice.
Other District 5 Candidates:
- Denis D. Adams (D) – Honorable mention for Adams because of these great things:
- Adams led and helped fund the >Hydroponics Aquaponics Urban Farming Center near Kimberley Park. (This is a chance for city residents to grow their own food via fish farming and growing produce with water instead of soil.)
- Adams’ involvement in this project shows her values of citizen’s access to fresh food, creating sustainable local economies by investing in green initiatives, and growing a community through common goals.
- Virginia Fox (R) – Incumbent. We have some mixed signals from your current representative that we’d like to clue you in on. Even though we wish she was all for sustainability, she, at least, isn’t totally against it.
- On her website, Fox describes both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources as “abundant” and argues that they should both be “safely developed” without federal legislation “lock[ing] away” either source. The problem with treating both sources as the same is that they are not the same. As the name suggests, nonrenewable resources will run out, and they do not produce clean energy. Aka, they pollute.
- She thinks the states’ governments should handle energy production decisions.
- According to her voting record, she supports Keystone XL pipeline, supports funding development of renewable energy, but does not support regulation of greenhouse emissions.
- Dillon Gentry (R)
- Cortland Meader (R)
- Matthew Vera (R)
You only have a few candidates to choose from, but still some solid choices here. Both Democratic candidates have really done their research.
Our recommendation: It’s a toss-up!
Two candidates great sustainable platforms, so we encourage you to look at their other key issues.
- Management consultant
- Values solar and other renewable energy
Watts recognizes the potential for jobs in the development of green energy and talks about the success for North Carolina already. His website reminds residents that North Carolina is already a leader in solar energy, ranking #8 in the country for solar jobs. (This is even higher for installed panels and energy production). However, a recent 30% solar cell tariff may change that, Watts expects. Because the tariff means cheaper foreign solar cells will be imported for a higher price, it is both good and bad. The good: It means less foreign imports, giving the two American solar panel manufacturers less competition. The bad: It could mean a reduction of the switch to solar energy in general (AKA, continued dependency on fossil fuels) and cause a huge loss of installation jobs.
Watts has also worked with energy companies regarding sustainability initiatives during his time as a management consultant. He claims to have an “all-of-the-above approach to renewable energy,” assuring that solar is not his only focus.
- Served in Army (6 years)
- Concerned with pollution of drinking water
On his website, Wong lists environmental concerns as issue #2, warning us that “There is no Planet number two.” Here, he talks pollution in North Carolina. If you live near Cape Fear River, listen up! The guidelines pushed by EPA regulations do not cover all the bad chemicals, only some. This has allowed chemical dumping in the Cape Fear River to go unregulated and unpunished, which is concerning because a lot of the state’s drinking water comes from this river. Wong provides examples and information regarding water contamination and proves a dedication to protecting your state’s drinking water.
Other District 6 Candidates:
- Mark Walker (R) – incumbent. Important things to note about your current Representative:
- He does have some support for sustainability! His website states “All Americans should be concerned about the environment,” but also notes that. “We can be green without being extreme.” Yet, he does not outline how to be green without government involvement or regulation.
- His voting record shows support for Keystone XP pipeline and no support for federal regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
- Sounds a little wishy-washy to us.
Your candidates are either seriously lacking a mention of sustainability, or appear a little torn between different environmental issues.
Our recommendation: David Rouzer
- Incumbent (since 2014) (served on Agriculture Committee)
- Former associate administrator/rural administrator for United States Department of Agriculture
- Pro-coastal protection and pro-American energy independence
Since your district includes a lot of Atlantic coast, you should be concerned about these specific environmental issues. Lucky for you, Rouzer addresses that! He vows to advocate for coastal community issues, such as long-term funding for cleaning out your waterways and for continued support from The National Flood Insurance Program. This program provides affordable insurance to public and private structures in the event of natural disasters.
Rouzer also supports “safely” using America’s potential energy sources, including both renewable and nonrenewable. Which again, it’s odd and somewhat irresponsible to treat both sources in the same way. He continues to say that “it should be our goal to be the number one exporter of oil and natural gas.” He wants American to become “energy independent,” which can be a good thing, but it seems he’s set on expending fossil fuels to do so.
You should also note that as your Representative, he has voted in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline and funding development of renewable sources, but voted against regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
Other District 7 Candidates:
- Kyle Horton (D) – She does list “Protect our Water” as a top priority, but doesn’t really discuss it.
- Grayson Parker (D)
This is rough District 8; you have pretty weak sustainable candidates.
Our recommendation: Richard Hudson
- Incumbent (since 2012)(Served on Energy and Commerce Committee & Agriculture Committee)
- Conflicting environmental views/commitment
Hudson’s website shows his commitment to developing all American energy sources, implying both renewable and nonrenewable. (Although this clarification is not made.) His past work has advanced bills that support agribusiness leaders in North Carolina.
Note that his voting record shows support for Keystone XL pipeline and funding development of renewable energy, but stands against regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
Other District 8 Candidates:
- Scott Huffman (D) – Values clean drinking water in his platform.
- Mark Tiegel (D)
- Frank McNeill (D) – Supports clean air and water for future generations.
Our recommendation: Christian Cano
- Business Owner
- Agricultural and economic impact of climate change
On his website, Cano recognizes climate change as “one of the deadliest problems” in the world but talks about how this impacts District 9. He argues that without immediate action, agricultural communities and economies will suffer the consequences. (And thus, negatively impacting the ninth district’s–and the state’s–economy, regardless of whether you’re a farmer or not.) With the continued temperature rise, he notes, crops and livestock will become less bountiful.
Cano urges for the reduction of carbon emissions and the push for clean energy. With no surprise, he is not pleased with Trump’s retraction from the Paris Climate Agreement. (Reminder that the Paris Climate Agreement> outlines the response to environmental concerns for countries around the world. Literally, the United States is the only country that isn’t down with this accord – source.)
Other District 9 Candidates:
- Dan McCready (D) – He helped build solar farms!
- Robert Pittenger (R) – incumbent. This guy voted for Keystone XL, and against renewable energy funding and federal regulation of greenhouse emissions (source). Another anti-vote from us.
- Clarence Goins (R)
- Jeff Scott (L)
Our recommendation: David Wilson Brown
- IT consultant specializing in business productivity
- Stop effects of human-caused climate change
We like Brown for his global-to-local platform in sustainability. While acknowledging the worldwide effects of climate change, he takes time to point out the dangers climate change brings to you. On his website, he talks about coal ash contamination in Catawba River, Lake Wylie, and groundwater near Allen Steam Plant.
He is adamant about accepting human-caused climate change and condemns those who deny its existence (like the EPA’s secretary). With this in mind, he believes in correcting our past mistakes by investing in clean energy and using these developments to create new jobs. He also vows to “push for Carbon Fee & Dividend,” which would place rising fees on carbon, thus encouraging companies to invest in cleaner alternative energy.
Other District 10 Candidates:
- Patrick McHenry (R) – incumbent. Your current representative believes in harnessing all American energy (renewable and nonrenewable). His voting record shows he supports Keystone XL and is against regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
- Seth Blankenship (R)
- Gina Collias (R) – She is concerned about climate change and believes “renewable energy development is both a responsible step…and a promising source for economic growth,” but does not discuss this viewpoint much further.
- Jeff Gregory (R)
- Ira Roberts (R)
- Albert Wiley, Jr (R)
Our recommendation: Phillip Price
- Business owner (Antique Reclaimed Lumber LCC)
- Concerned with logging and tourism in district 11
Price strongly supports stopping and reversing the effects of climate change by cutting back on fossil fuels. Instead, he wants to use clean energy and invest in developing these renewable sources. He recognizes North Carolina’s efforts in renewable energy already by reminding us that your state is a national leader in solar power production.
Price also draws attention to North Carolina’s tourism and logging businesses. He promises support for initiatives that protect the forests from unsustainable logging. (Which btw, could lead to deforestation.) The deforestation–he argues along with other factors–could damage the “awesome” mountainous views that bring tourists into your district. All around, his environmental views result from concerns related to district 11.
Other District 11 Candidates:
- Steve Woodsmall (D) – Honorable mention! This candidate values North Carolina’s national parks, investments in clean energy, and addressing climate change.
- Mark Meadows (R) – incumbent. While serving as your representative, Meadows voted for Keystone XL and the funding for renewable energy. He voted against federal regulation of greenhouse emissions (source). He also believes in American energy independence by “tapping into our national gas reserves” and “exploring” clean energy.
- Chuck Archerd (R)
- Christopher Money (R)
- Clifton Ingram, Jr (R)
- Scott Donaldson (D) – This candidate acknowledges the “danger that climate change presents” and supports making changes on environmental approaches in order to secure healthy communities on the local and national level.
Your current representative is doing a pretty good job, but we’ve noted some other good contenders.
Our recommendation: Alma Adams
- Incumbent (since 2014)(Committee on Agriculture)
- Proven voting record
Adams claims to preserve North Carolina’s land and water and taking more action against climate change. Her stances are backed by her voting record while serving as your representative last term. She voted against the Keystone XL pipeline, but voted for the federal funding of clean energy development and for federal regulation of greenhouse emissions (source).
Other District 12 Candidates:
- Patrick Register (D) – Honorable mention! Register believes it is an American responsibility to help solve human-caused climate change. He is also not very pleased with Trump’s Paris Climate Agreement withdrawal.
- Keith Young (D)
- Gabe Ortiz (D)
- Paul Bonham (R)
- Carl Persson (R)
- Paul Wright (R) – Little shout out to this guy for supporting funding the development of renewable energy (source).
Not the best options, District 13.
Our recommendation: Adam Coker
- Principal Art Director of The Good Light LLC
- Personal sustainable choices
While information about his sustainability stance was at first hard to find, he did dedicate an entire blog post about his views. Here, he talks about his individual choices to combat some of these problems by installing a solar-heated floor system in his home. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll show the same dedication in Congress, it does indicate some sustainability concerns. In the blog, he also promises to fight for “those of us who love and care for our planet.”