I was disappointed to learn that the Rio Grande (New Mexico) Chapter of the Sierra Club chose to make an endorsement in the competitive Democratic Primary for State House District 43 despite both candidates having an excellent record on our issues.
I have served on the Executive Committee of the Rio Grande Chapter, and as chair of the local Pajarito Group of the Sierra Club. I served two terms on the County Sustainability Board and am a member and supporter of at least 15 other environmental organizations.
Environmental issues are extremely important to me. If I thought Christine Chandler would not strongly support environmental issues in the legislature, I would not vote for her. But I have known Christine for years, and have complete confidence that she will support environmental issues important to us as our next Representative.
Our organization has worked hard for years to ensure our endorsements are based only on our issues and to endorse only if there is a significant difference in how the candidates would support these issues in the legislature. When it comes to our two choices for Representative, there is no such clear difference.
I appreciate the Rio Grande Chapter giving me information on the environmental positions of candidates. However, endorsements should not be made unless there is a clear superiority of one candidate over another.
This is particularly the case where the race is expected to be close, where there are Sierra Club members strongly supporting both candidates, and where there has been no attempt to solicit the opinions of the local Pajarito Group members.
I suggest voters whose decision might hinge on the candidates support for the environment not take this endorsement too seriously. We are lucky to have two champions for the environment running for this office, and thankfully endorsements don’t vote – you do.