Calls to Action: Citizens

Endorsing Candidates

More than 30 open-seat races for the state legislature will be contested this year. Some of you have asked about our process for considering pre-election endorsements.

First we ask ourselves what, if anything, we could gain by a pre-election endorsement. Often candidates have more to gain than we do from an endorsement and we are in a position to provide post-election support of value to whoever prevails. When we do contemplate an endorsement, we consider not only the candidate but also the environment in which they must run and that we don’t need every legislator on every vote. Eg, a candidate running in a progressive district who publicly must protect against pressure from the left could still be helpful on some of the many issues that come before a legislature in which bill passage requires the approval of a majority of legislators, the makeup of which can change from issue to issue. When researching candidates, we pay little attention to what they say (most of that is for consumption by voters and journalists who don’t drill down far) and lots of attention to how they’ve acted in previous offices and their support from special interests.