September 5, 2018

Environmental Champions Come Out on Top in Primary Elections

In yesterday’s primary elections, legislators and challengers who support environmental progress won important races across the state from the Berkshires to Boston.  11 champions  who were endorsed by the Environmental League of Massachusetts Action Fund and had an opponent in yesterday’s primary races won, including competitive races in Lexington, Brookline, and Framingham.

“We took important steps toward building an environmental majority in the state legislature last night,” said ELM Action Fund Executive Director Joe O’Brien. “With Washington moving backwards, it’s important that we have a state legislature here in Massachusetts that reflects the values of the people and keeps us moving forward.”

The ELM Action Fund and its Political Action Committee and Independent Expenditure PAC strategically deployed resources including phone banks, door to door canvassing, social media advertisements, and emails to make a difference in key races across the state. Overall more than 19,000 Action Fund members and environmental voters were contacted over the course of the last several months and encouraged to support pro-environment candidates.

Michelle Ciccolo of Lexington, who specializes in land use, planning, and community development, pulled ahead in a race of five Democrats to succeed Rep. Jay Kaufman in the 15th Middlesex district. ELM Action Fund fellows and volunteers made calls and knocked on the doors of hundreds of environmental voters in the district, as well as participated in the Election Day Get Out the Vote effort. We are excited to stand with Michelle as she continues her long career of public service at the State House.

Tommy Vitolo of Brookline, a Senior Associate at Synapse Energy Economics, won the primary in the 15th Norfolk by about 800 votes. With the support of the ELM Action Fund, Tommy campaigned with the environment at the top of his platform. The ELM Action Fund provided the campaign with support for Get Out the Vote calls as well as a robust online advertising campaign and a mailing to environmental voters to inform them of Vitolo’s strong environmental credentials.

Maria Robinson, a clean energy policy expert and advocate, ran a successful write-in campaign in the 6th Middlesex district in Framingham, pulling ahead in the four person race handily. The ELM Action Fund Independent Expenditure Committee deployed resources to mail and call environmental voters, as well as place a digital advertising campaign informing them of Maria’s candidacy, environmental credentials, and the procedure to vote for a write-in candidate.

“Voters sent a powerful message yesterday that they want candidates and incumbents to lead on issues like climate change and clean energy,” continued O’Brien. “These results are consistent with a recent series of polls commissioned by the ELM Action Fund that found that 88% of Massachusetts voters surveyed said environmental issues were important or very important to them and that they want legislators to advance nation leading policies from expanding wind energy to adopting a carbon fee.”

“This is just the beginning of a powerful green wave of environmental electoral activism. The ELM Action Fund will continue working to defend our champions, defeat those who oppose progress, and elect new leaders,” said ELM Action Fund President Elizabeth Henry. “Last night’s results have energized us. We are ready to continue working to support the right candidates and get out the vote for the general election in November.”

Successful ELM Action Fund Endorsed Candidates in the Primary
Michelle Ciccolo, 15th Middlesex
Rep. Dan Cullinane, 12th Suffolk
Rep. Marjorie Decker, 25th Middlesex
Rep. Sean Garballey, 23rd Middlesex
Rep. Denise Garlick, 13th Norfolk
Rep. Jim Hawkins, 2nd Bristol
Senator Adam Hinds, Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden
Senator Jason Lewis, 5th Middlesex
Rep. Liz Malia, 11th Suffolk
Maria Robinson, 6th Middlesex
Tommy Vitolo, 15th Norfolk

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