Hey, Beehive State!! Save the bees and vote for eco-friendly candidates this election season! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.
Voting in Utah
Your primary type is semi-closed. This means that if you are registered with a political party, you must vote for a candidate in your party. If you are not affiliated with a party, you can vote for a candidate of any party. Additionally, candidates move onto the general election with a plurality vote, meaning they only need the most votes to win, not a majority. Your primary election is on June 26, so get ready to get voting!
Things on the ballot this year: U.S. Senate, U.S House, other state executive, State Senate, State House, State Supreme Court, intermediate appellate courts, local judges, school boards, and ballot measures.
Our pick: Jenny Wilson
- Salt Lake County councilwoman
Jenny has already shown her sustainable colors while serving as the councilwoman of Salt Lake County. How so? Perhaps most importantly, she helped create an Air Quality Subcommittee in order to regulate emissions and make sure air quality is safe for members of the community. She also helped push for green building standards in the area, which improves energy efficiency, and therefore, less pollution.
In Congress, Jenny aims to keep federal lands preserved and protected, namely the Grand Staircase and Bears Ears National Monuments. She also wants to make sure the EPA’s regulations remain in place in order to keep air and water quality safe for the public and environment. Furthermore, Jenny wants to continue her push for energy efficient standards and look at rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
Other Senator Candidates:
- Mike Kennedy (R)
- Mitt Romney (R) – Wants to create “sustainable” forest and land management policies, but doesn’t specify them. Mitt also supports higher vehicle energy efficiency and developing all forms of energy (both renewable and fossil fuels).
- Craig Bowden (Libertarian)
- Tim Aalders (Constitution Party) – Supported the Keystone XL pipeline and reducing offshore drilling. He recognizes that humans contribute to climate change but does not think the government should be regulating harmful emissions (source).
- Reed McCandless (Independent American)
U.S. House of Representatives
Find your district here.
Our pick: Kurt Weiland
- Served in the U.S. Army
Kurt wants to keep public lands public and preserved, especially Native American lands. He’s looking to make sure national parks are fully funded and wants to stop fossil fuel exploration in these areas. In fact, he doesn’t think the government should fund any fossil fuel exploration. Instead, that money should go toward renewable energy developments. Kurt thinks we should put more restrictions on fracking too, and make sure harmful emissions are regulated (source).
Other District 1 Candidates:
- Lee Castillo (D) – Honorable mention! Lee is looking to stop rollbacks on EPA regulations that keep our air and water clean and safe. Lee also wants to restore and protect the Bear’s Ears and Grand Escalante Monuments, as well as work with Native Americans leaders when it comes to environmental stewardship.
- Rob Bishop (R) – Incumbent – Supports an “all of the above” energy plan, referring to both renewable and fossil fuel sources. He opposes federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Adam Davis (Green Party)
- Eric Eliason (United Utah Party)
Our pick: Shireen Ghorbani
Shireen has a few ways to improve the environmental situation for future generations. She’s ready to promote renewable energy to help reduce pollution and lessen the need to invest in disaster cleanups. She also wants to support policies that look at water management to help with quality and conservation, which is especially important when your state frequently faces drought.
Other District 2 Candidates:
- Chris Stewart (R) – Incumbent – Supports developing fossil fuel energies, “economically viable” renewables, and the Keystone XL pipeline. He opposes the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (source).
- Jeffrey Whipple (Libertarian)
- Jan Garbett (Utah United Party) – Wants to promote environmental stewardship, renewable energy development, and keeping air and water clean.
Our pick: James Singer
James’ love and dedication to the environment was learned partly through his Navajo ancestors. He’s looking to instill a sense of responsibility and respect between the public and the land. James especially wants to restore and protect Bears Ears, along with other public lands. He understands that renewable energy, conservation, and preservation will help us create a sustainable future.
Other District 3 Candidates:
- John Curtis (R) – Incumbent – Wants to make sure public lands are accessible and protected.
- Christopher Herrod (R)
- Melanie McCoard (United Utah Party)
- Gregory Duerden (Independent American) – Discusses how “environmental protection” is not listed in the Constitution, which he may use to justify his stances: no funding renewable or nonrenewable energy developments, and does not support regulating harmful emissions. He states, “I’m not convinced we can do anything about climate change” (source).
Our pick: Ben McAdams
- Salt Lake County mayor
Although Ben has an “all of the above” energy approach (which supports fossil fuels and renewables), he has shown support for increasing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable policies. As mayor, he supported energy-efficient buildings, ensuring clean drinking water, and a solar-panel installation project. He also helped push for reducing vehicle emissions by supporting “free fare” transit days for public transportation, and the creation of more walking and biking paths.
Other District 4 Candidate:
- Mia Love (R) – Incumbent – Supports developing renewable energy and fossil fuels. (She supported a number of bills for the expansion and funding for renewable energy). She voted yes to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and helped lift a ban of oil export.