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Four Candidates for Governor added to 2022 Dirty Dozen in the States

Oct 3, 2022

Nick Abraham, nabraham@lcv.org, 206-833-7021

Washington, DC – Today,  LCV Victory Fund state affiliates announced four new candidates to the 2022 Dirty Dozen in the States. Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal Dirty Dozen, the Dirty Dozen in the States highlights 12 of the worst environmental candidates in the nation at the state and local level. The first six candidates were announced in August. Members of the Dirty Dozen in the States have consistently sided against the environment and are a danger to our democracy. The four new candidates are all running for Governor, and were chosen regardless of party affiliation by LCV Victory Fund state affiliates in the Conservation Voter Movement. 

The four new candidates:

  • Wisconsin candidate for Governor Tim Michels 
  • New Mexico candidate for Governor Mark Ronchetti
  • Maryland candidate for Governor Dan Cox
  • Connecticut candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski 

“Governors are going to be the key leaders to decide how we build a clean energy future,” said Pete Maysmith LCV Victory Fund Senior Vice President of Campaigns. “We need leaders who will fight for environmental justice, good paying jobs, and stand up to big polluters. These four candidates would take us in the opposite direction at the worst possible time.”

This year, Congress has made historic progress, passing the Inflation Reduction Act, the strongest climate action in history. Governors will play a key role in implementing the bill’s funding. At the same time, states across the country in 2022 have also passed vital climate and clean energy legislation. Because of state and local action, 40% of the country now lives in a place committed to 100% clean energy, with much of the progress coming through Governors’ executive action. This also comes at a time when our democracy is under attack. Governors play a key role overseeing the vote, with some appointing secretaries of state who ensure all votes are counted and that every voter has equal access to the ballot. 

See more information on why each candidate was nominated below:

Wisconsin Governor – Tim Michels – Nominated by Wisconsin Conservation Voters Independent Expenditure Committee

While Tim Michels was leading the Michels Corporation, the company has faced violations and decades of allegations of ignoring unsafe working conditions that range from harassment to death on the job. The Michels Corporation builds pipelines for major oil companies, including the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. His opponent, Governor Tony Evers has championed several major climate initiatives including the state’s first-ever Clean Energy Plan. Wisconsin Conservation Voters IEC believes reelecting Governor Evers will ensure Wisconsin stays a climate leader and invests in clean energy jobs across the state.

New Mexico Governor – Mark Ronchetti – Nominated by Conservation Voters New Mexico Verde Voters Fund

Under current Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s leadership, the state has had more pro-climate and conservation executive action and legislation than at any time in the state’s history. All of these accomplishments are under threat from Mark Ronchetti. Ronchetti is a local weatherman who has made climate denying statements; “Climate change doesn’t cause fires, come on!” He has also accepted over $300,000 in campaign contributions directly tied to the oil and gas industry. Conservation Voters of New Mexico believes the Governor’s race in New Mexico will be the most consequential event for the state’s future in a generation.

Maryland Governor – Dan Cox – Nominated by Maryland League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee

Dan Cox has a 16% lifetime score from Maryland LCV, has previously denied climate science, and is running as a far-right MAGA candidate. He also sponsored three bus-loads of supporters to the “Million MAGA March” which led to the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. He has a long history of paranoid and false comments about the 2020 election and is already sowing doubts about a free and fair election in 2022. Maryland LCV-endorsed candidate Wes Moore has committed to 100% clean energy, preserving the Chesapeake Bay, and fighting for environmental justice across the state.

Connecticut Governor – Bob Stefanowski – Nominated by Connecticut League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee

Bob Stefanowski was endorsed by Donald Trump and made climate denying statements in his previous run for Governor in 2018. Connecticut LCV believes that if he wins, the state could be forced into four years of defensive advocacy against rollbacks and fighting new gas expansion. The state’s DEEP, which is currently an essential state partner, could be rolled back along with the newly formed CT Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Council (CEEJAC) and the Governor’s Council on Climate change, both created by Executive Order. These hard-won initiatives under the last administration could be halted under Bob Stefanowski.

Over 30 state Conservation Voter Movement partners work to determine the 2022 “Dirty Dozen in the States.” The candidates named are some of the most anti-environment politicians running in competitive state-level races for governor, state senate and house, municipal seats, or commissions this cycle.

The “Dirty Dozen in the States” is modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s “Dirty Dozen,” which has targeted candidates for federal office (with occasional exceptions)— regardless of party affiliation — who consistently side against the environment, and are running in races in which LCV Victory Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome. 

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Paid for by LCV Victory Fund, www.lcvvictoryfund.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.