The local chapter of the Sierra Club has released its candidate endorsements for this fall’s elections, and has declined to make picks in two key races: U.S. Senate and Louisville mayor.
Cumberland Chapter Political Chair Joan Lindop said the Sierra Club looks for candidates who support and advocate for environmental issues. And she said neither Republican Mitch McConnell nor Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has distinguished themselves on those topics.
“I think our point is that we’re looking for forward-thinking politicians,” she said. “And the sounds that some of these people are making are not forward-thinking, I think. Now, maybe they’re not saying what they really believe, but I have to go by what they say.”
Both candidates have campaigned heavily on coal-related issues as they try to prove their support for the state’s declining coal industry. Lindop said the national Sierra Club organization agreed with the local chapter, and would also not be endorsing a candidate in the Senate race.
More surprising is the Sierra Club’s lack of endorsement of a candidate for Louisville mayor. The race has attracted little attention, and Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer is widely expected to win re-election. He is being challenged by Republican Bob DeVore and environmental and transportation activist Jackie Green, who is running as a write-in candidate.
Lindop said the Sierra Club endorsements are partially based on candidate questionnaires, and incumbents like Fischer aren’t required to fill out the questionnaire in order to be considered for endorsement—after all, they have his and policy record to look back on.
But she said Sierra Club members have been disappointed with their interactions with Fischer recently, and so the chapter decided to refrain from endorsing anyone in that race.
“Louisville Mayor is not anxious to talk to Sierra Club lately. He has been in the past, but I’m getting voicemail a lot,” she said. “I’m not opposing him, but I just don’t feel I have enough basis to support him actively, which is what an endorsement is.”
Other Sierra Club endorsements include:
- Rep. John Yarmuth – 3rd Congressional District
- Ashley Miller – House District 32
- Rep. Mary Lou Marzian – House District 34
- Rep. Jim Wayne – House District 35
- Rep. Reginald Meeks – House District 42
- Bill Hollander for Louisville Metro Council – 9th District