A sketch of the state, Wisconsin.

Alrighty, Wisconsin, time to step up to the voting booth and get eco-friendly! To learn more about Sustainable Politician Project, read our full intro here.

Voting in Wisconsin

Your state has a super easy open primary type. You do not need to be registered or affiliated with a political party in order to vote on August 14. Then, the candidates with the most votes move onto the general election this November.

Things on the ballot this year: US Senate, US House, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state executive offices, state senate, state assembly, supreme court, appellate courts, local judges, state ballot measures, school board, municipal government, recalls, and candidate ballot access.

U.S. Senate

Our pick: Tammy Baldwin

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2012
  • Climate Change Caucus

Tammy is most concerned with protecting Wisconsin’s water. She understands how important it is to protect the Great Lakes and other bodies of water in Wisconsin, which is why she fully supports and fights for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). This restoration program funds cleanup projects at contaminated sites, restores habitats in the lakes, and protects native plants and animals from invasive species. Specifically, Tammy has spoken up for the Lake Michigan in Washington, urging the administrations to consider the damage invasive species like the Asian Carp puts on the lake’s ecosystem.

Along with bodies of water, Tammy is also working to protect drinking water for your state. To do so, she wants to replace lead pipes in the water infrastructure systems to stop drinking water contamination. She also wants to make sure that rural communities are not neglected when it comes to having dependable, clean drinking water.

Other Senator Candidates:
  • Charles Barman (R)
  • Griffin Jones (R) – Supports nonpartisan administrators to partake in environmental decisions, protecting national parks and federal lands, keeping the Great Lakes free of pollution and invasive species, and renewable energy (without adding any more subsidies).
  • George Lucia (R) – Wants to develop both renewable sources and fossil fuels for energy and believes climate change is a “distraction…based on very little scientific fact.”
  • Kevin Nicholson (R) 
  • Leah Vukmir (R) – Opposes funding renewable energy and greenhouse gas regulations (source).

U.S. House of Representatives

Find your district here.

District 1

Our pick: Randy Bryce 

  • Democrat
  • Army Veteran
  • Ironworker

Randy has an accountability approach to dealing with our current environmental problems, which we like. He wants to make sure companies that pollute, contaminate, and cover-up their damage face the consequences. This includes correcting false data, funding air and water quality tests, ensuring good public health, and protecting people and the environment from pollution.

By supporting a number of acts and initiatives, Randy hopes to move us toward a renewable-powered country by 2035. He promises his support for the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (“Off Act”), which works us toward this goal by decreasing our fossil fuel consumption and investing in clean energy developments. Alongside this, Randy is also looking to fund a “Green New Deal.” This deal would draw on models like the Climate Change Adapt America Fund Act of 2017 in order to create a green infrastructure for clean energy and domestic jobs. Randy also sees rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement as another way our country can work towards reducing carbon emissions and take leadership in the fight against climate change.

Randy also opposes plans for pipelines due to the risk they pose to the environment and drinking water. And as far as Enbridge Line 5 goes, he wants to replace it with a new pipeline to prevent lead contamination. You should also note that because of Randy’s job as an ironworker, he’s been offered jobs to work on pipeline construction, which he has turned away. Randy also opposes drilling public lands because of similar risks that pipelines pose.

Lastly, Randy wants to work towards conservation as well. In particular, he wants to protect wetlands in Wisconsin by expanding these protections in the Clean Water Act. Currently, these protections are under fire by the administration. He also wants to ensure funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This program funds cleanup projects, ecosystem restoration, protections against invasives species, and more projects aiming toward restoring the Great Lakes.

Other District 1 Candidates:
  • Cathy Myers (D) – Honorable mention! Cathy is a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby and fought for climate change solutions. She supports a 100% renewable energy future for our country and opposes the Enbridge pipeline.
  • Paul Nehlen (R) 
  • Nick Polce (R) 
  • Jeremy Ryan (R) – Believes the U.S. needs to step up our game when it comes to climate change, and supports funding renewable energy and regulating greenhouse gas emissions (source).
  • Kevin Steen (R) – Opposes the government funding renewable energy. Keven supports federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, but thinks the EPA needs more boundaries when it comes to setting these regulations (source).
  • Bryan Steil (R) 
  • Ken Yorgan (Independent) – Wants to continue to develop means of protecting the environment and enriching our ecosystems, rather than tear them down.

District 2

You only have one candidate running, District 2. Here’s what we have for him.

Mark Pocan 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2012
  • Safe Climate Caucus

Mark supports clean energy and energy efficiency investments as a way to fight climate change. This way, our carbon emissions will decrease, and the lessening of pollution can lighten the disastrous effects of climate change. Mark also wants to preserve parks and natural resources, specifically the many beautiful state parks in Wisconsin.

District 3

Our pick: Ron Kind 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 1996
  • Co-Chair of the Congressional National Parks Caucus
  • Founder and co-chair of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Congressional Task Force
  • Founder and co-chair of the Congressional Organic Caucus

Ron has done a good number of things for sustainability during his time in office. One of the big ones is his dedication to conserving the Mississippi River. As co-chair of the task force for the river, he was able to designate the river as a Critical Conservation Area. This title helps fund conservation efforts for the river and create jobs to do so. He’s also done work for our national parks by founding the National Parks Caucus to bring attention to the underfunded National Wildlife Refuge System. Ron continuously seeks funding for this initiative, as it is critical for the preservation of the Upper Mississippi River National Fish and Wildlife Refuge that brings millions of people to Wisconsin.

Additionally, Ron has supported Wisconsin’s farmers throughout the years and done so in ways that also benefit the environment. He championed a tax credit for dairy farmers to manage their manure with manure digesters, which produces renewable energy while containing the amount of waste. He continues to support legislation and initiatives that work for both farmers and the environment with renewable energy tax incentives and other programs.

Other District 3 Candidate:

Steve Toft (R) 

District 4

Our pick: Gwen Moore 

  • Democrat
  • Incumbent since 2004
  • Great Lakes Task Force

Gwen is big on protecting the environment because it’s necessary to protect the people. This is especially true for protecting the waters of Wisconsin since the public gets most of their drinking water from Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes basin. She also knows that the lakes need protecting not only from pollution, but also from invasive species as well, in order to keep a balanced ecosystem intact. Her record reflects this dedication, as she’s cosponsored a number of bills, including the Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act. Gwen has and continues to, show her support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative–a program that works to clean up contaminated sites, fight invasive species, restore ecosystems, and protect clean drinking water. And as you may have guessed, Gwen fully supports the Clean Air & Water Acts, and the Endangered Species Act. She strongly opposes drilling in public spaces and using our national forests for logging sources.

Other District 4 Candidates:

District 5

Our pick: Tom Palzewicz 

  • Democrat
  • Navy Veteran
  • Small business owner

We like Tom for his five-step plan on combating climate change. We’ll walk you through it.

Step 1, rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. Tom knows that our country can make a big impact on the worldwide issue, and that showing our commitment isn’t just a nice thing to do–it’s our responsibility. We need to take that step to show the world that we’re ready to work together to face this global problem.

Step 2, invest in renewable energy. Tom does not see green energy as a job-killing investment, but rather the opposite. Jobs created from renewable energy brings them home and the jobs stay here–they can’t be relocated. As a way to reduce pollution, Tom supports running the country on 100% renewable energy by 2050 through incentives for inventors to develop the technology we need to achieve this.

Step 3, trust science for solutions. Science shows what’s happening in the world, which is backed up by the changes in climate patterns and the increase of severe storms. Tom knows that climate change is a partisan issue, but doesn’t think it should be, because we have the data to show it’s a real issue. He supports a fully-funded and operation EPA that does not stand for corporate-run administrators, and that take the science as it is: facts.

Step 4, prepare for climate change. Tom knows that despite efforts we make now, there is some irreversible damage already done, and we need to prepare for this. He wants to make sure communities have protections in place for disasters caused by climate change at the federal level.

Step 5, move subsidies from the fossil fuel industry to renewable energy. Right now, the subsidies going to oil, coal, and other fossil fuels make it nearly impossible for green energy to compete. Tom wants to see a shift in the competitive energy market, and ultimately incentivize renewable energy to enact the plan of reaching a 100% renewable goal by 2050.

Other District 5 Candidates:
  • Jim Sensenbrenner (R) – incumbent – Has an “all of the above” energy strategy, which includes both renewable sources and fossil fuels. Jim also wants to conserve open spaces and forests.
  • Jennifer Vipond (R) – Supports renewable energy developments and greenhouse gas regulations. Jennifer also wants to make sure current regulations should be enforced (source).

District 6

Hey District 6, your candidates don’t discuss environmental issues or sustainability very much. We encourage you to vote based off of other issues important to you.

District 7

Two of your candidates are leaning in a positive direction for sustainability, but don’t have super developed platforms for it either. We’ll let you know what they have to say about it.

Top Candidates:

Margaret Engebretson (D) – Supports protecting the environment and investing in green energy in order to help maintain our natural environment. Margaret also wants to make sure Wisconsin takes part in the clean energy industry, by securing jobs for Wisconsin residents and supplying the state with this green energy. Additionally, she sees the importance of protecting the state’s waters.

Brian Ewert (D) – Brian supports renewable energy in order to significantly decrease our carbon emissions. He understands how big of an impact climate change can have for our country and the world, and the national security risk it poses (through climate change refugees, economic fallback from climate change disasters, and more).

Other District 7 Candidates:
  • Sean Duffy (R) – incumbent – Has an “all of the above” energy approach, including fossil fuels and renewable sources. He also supported the Keystone XL pipeline (an oil transport).
  • Ken Driessen (Direct Participatory Democracy)

District 8

Your candidates either do not discuss environmental platforms much, or present a conflicting platform. We suggest using other important issues when casting your vote.

  • Beau Liegeois (D) 
  • Mike Gallagher (R) – Wants to protect the environment, but warns against “burdensome regulations.” He cosponsored Stop Asian Carp Now Act, which helped fund efforts to stop the invasive species in Lake Michigan.
Categories: 2018 PrimaryStates

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