Green-backed candidates for governor fair well in Great Lakes states


Editor’s note: This is the third story in a series on environmental issues in the 2022 election.

By Borjana Alia and Camryn Evans

Election Day has come and gone, and the results show that green-backed candidates for governor won in six Great Lakes states.

They won in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York, but lost in Ohio. All are Democrats.

Image: Asher Freedman

Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters, backed them candidates in hopes of having their environmental priorities enacted.

“The Sierra club is focused on a grassroots approach,” said Sarah Tresedder, the communications coordinator for the Sierra Club in Michigan. “We’re focused on giving individuals and communities the resources to fight back against big corporations.”

In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer won re-election with the help of the  Sierra Club endorsement.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s Tony Evers, Illinois’ JB Pritzker and Minnesota’s Tim Walz were also re-elected with Sierra Club endorsements.

In New York, Kathy Hocul kept her position.

Pennsylvania was the only Great Lakes state to choose a new governor. Josh Shapiro captured the open seat.

In Ohio, however, incumbent Republican Mike DeWine defeated challenger Nan Whaley.

The Sierra Club released individualized press releases congratulating the winners who aligned with their goals.

The League of Conservation Voters, another environmental or advocacy group that focuses on issues such as climate change, environmental justice and energy endorsed Democratic candidates for governor, but chose not to endorse in Illinois and Minnesota.

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