CVNM’s endorsements are coming…learn how it works

The 2016 legislative session is over, and we’re now moving into election season, which means that CVNM will be working to determine which candidates we can rely on to cast pro-conservation votes if they’re elected.

Our endorsement process is designed to separate those who are merely good on conservation issues from those that are running because of their values on conservation issues.

As a rule, we don’t consider endorsing challengers to incumbents who are successfully representing the conservation values of their constituents, or candidates who are running uncontested. That means we don’t make endorsements in every race. We do endorse candidates running for open seats, as well as challengers to incumbents who are failing to look out for their constituents’ environmental concerns. So, if we don’t make an endorsement for a race in your district, it’s possible that it’s just not eligible for endorsement by our criteria.

Read CVNM & CVNM Action Fund’s full endorsement policy on our website at: CVNMActionFund.org/endorsement-policy

Early voting for the June 7 primary election continues until June 4! Check http://polling.sks.com/ to find your polling location or vote at your County Clerks office!

The first step in our process is the generation and submission of our questionnaires. We write a candidate questionnaire for every race that we endorse in, no matter how large or small. The responses we gather are the first step in developing an idea of whether the candidate is able to articulate a clear conservation policy framework. The more nuanced part of the process is the candidate interview. I make an effort to meet as many candidates as I can before election season is under way, but this isn’t always possible. The post- questionnaire interview can be the first meeting, and it’s a great way to get a better idea of how a candidate might actually function as an advocate for environmental issues in the legislature.

Once the questionnaires and interviews are complete, I will make proposals for CVNM Action Fund (CVNMAF) endorsement to the political committee of the CVNM board of directors. The board makes final decisions and CVNMAF then issues its endorsements. This process will play out twice: once for the primaries, and again for general election candidates.

All CVNM members receive a list of our endorsed candidates prior to the June primary and the November general elections.

The goal of our thorough endorsement process is to ensure that CVNM members don’t have to wonder which candidates will cast conservation votes, and which ones just talk a great game.

By Ben Shelton, Political & Legislative Director