“Big green” endorsement for GOP Sen. Litzow
Republican State Sen. Steve Litzow has won a coveted endorsement from the Washington Conservation Voters, even though Litzow’s Democratic opponent used to run a leading green group.
Litzow has emerged as “the new leader of his party on environmental issues,” said Brendon Cechovic, executive director of WCV. “Steve shares our belief that issues like climate change, Puget Sound restoration and public health should not be partisan.”
WCV is backing a bevy of Democrats including gubernatorial hopeful Jay Inslee and Attorney General candidate Bob Ferguson. Its national counterpart, the League of Conservation Voters, made Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., one of its first endorsements.
But WCV has now found two “green” Republicans, Litzow and lieutenant governor candidate Bill Finkbeiner, to support.
Litzow has garnered an 80 (out of 100) rating in Conservation Voters’ upcoming scorecard on votes in the Legislature, 30 points higher than the next leading Republican.
Litzow is being challenged by Democrat Maureen Judge, former director of the Washington Toxics Coalition. The 41st District, which embraces Mercer Island and Eastside suburbs, is considered a swing district with slight Democratic leanings.
Litzow is pro-choice and is one of four Republicans who voted for (and provided the victory margin for) same-sex marriage legislation. He was also an important voice for continued state support of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.
Judge has picked up support from two groups on the penumbra of the Democratic Party, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Planned Parenthood Votes. The Democrats view her as a serious challenger. But Litzow has already amassed a six-figure campaign warchest.