By Peter Aronson
We are proud to say that an overwhelming majority—nearly 90%—of the candidates the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) endorsed in this year’s election won, showing once again that New York State is trending in the right direction in its fight to protect the environment and address the climate crisis.
As of this writing, of the 131 candidates we endorsed – in New York City, Long Island, Westchester and the Capital Region – 117 either won or are ahead in their election.
This follows a strong primary showing in which approximately 95 percent of the candidates we endorsed won.
Whether it was knocking on doors or making phone calls, Team NYLCV was out in full force helping to turn out the vote on behalf of our endorsed candidates.
In Tuesday’s election, the winners included 40 of the 42 candidates we endorsed for New York City Council; 26 of the 29 candidates we endorsed in Westchester County; 23 of the 26 candidates we endorsed in the Capital Region; and 28 of the 34 candidates we endorsed on Long Island.
On Long Island, we are thrilled that Rebecca Sanin defeated incumbent Manuel Esteban for the Suffolk County Legislature, who was part of the majority that effectively blocked placing the county’s Clean Water Plan on the ballot. NYLCV PAC was a major player in this race as we joined forces with the New York State Laborers in campaigning strongly on behalf of the Legislator-elect Sanin.
Here are some highlights from the election in which our endorsed candidates won:
In the Capital Region, Carmella Mantello became the first female elected Mayor in Troy; Gary McCarthy was re-elected mayor of Schenectady; Daniel McCoy was re-elected Albany County Executive; Susan Quine-Laurilliard picked up a seat in the Albany County Legislature; and in Saratoga County, Michele Madigan picked up an open seat on the Board of Supervisors representing Saratoga Springs.
In Westchester County, there were many wins to celebrate including Yadira Ramos-Herbert elected as first woman of color to be the New Rochelle Mayor. In the legislature, newcomers Emiljana Ulaj, Judah Holstein, Shanae Williams were all elected. The Town of Harrison race for Supervisor/Mayor was too close to call with candidate Mark Jaffee down by 19 votes. Of the 14 candidates we endorsed for Westchester County Legislature, 13 were elected. Of the 15 town supervisor and mayoral candidates we endorsed, 13 won.
On Long Island, of the 10 total candidates we endorsed for the Suffolk County Legislature, six won. Of the 14 candidates we endorsed for Nassau County Legislature, 13 won. And we are pleased that our endorsed candidate for Suffolk County Executive, Ed Romaine, won, putting an environmentally-friendly leader in Suffolk County’s top job.
In summary, NYLCV is pleased with the outcome of this New York State off-cycle election, as more environmental champions will now be in a position to help New York State achieve its goals of producing 70 percent of its electricity by 2030 from renewable sources and 100 percent by 2040.
But it’s important to note that NYLCV and its members are already looking ahead to the general election in 2024, when our country will elect a president, the entire U.S. House of Representatives, one third of the U.S. Senate, and the entire New York State Legislature. We expect to be part of a formidable get-out-the vote movement over the next 12 months and we will encourage all of our members and supporters, and their friends, to join us in that effort.
The New York League of Conservation Voters, which is non-partisan, is the only statewide organization that rates and endorses local and state politicians based on their environmental record. We believe that the impact of these victories outlined above go well beyond our state borders. We are sending an unmistakable message to the country and the world that when the environmental advocates speak out on environmental issues, they can make a difference, and when it comes to choosing bold environmental leaders, New York voters are second to none.