STATE—The Sierra Club of New Jersey threw a curve into politics as usual with their endorsement of independent Chris Daggett for governor, bypassing unpopular Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine and his Republican challenger, Chris Christie, a former Morris County freeholder and Bush administration appointee.
This is the first time in the environmental organization’s history that it has supported an independent candidate for the Garden State’s top elected office.
Daggett said the backing by one of the nation’s pre-eminent conservation groups underscores his decades-long commitment to safeguarding the environment.
“Only an independent governor can make the nonpartisan decisions to benefit the public interest, not special interests,” Daggett said. “A good economy and environmental protection go hand in hand.”
“By endorsing Chris Daggett for governor, the Sierra Club not only made the principled choice but the right choice,” NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said. “Chris Daggett has shown leadership and a real commitment to protecting our environment. He has demonstrated his willingness to stand up to special interests and politicians to do what’s right for the environment. It’s very rare when you have the opportunity to endorse someone of such principle and integrity with a broad background in environmental issues.”
For 25 years, Daggett has been a leader on a full range of New Jersey environmental issues and has a record of accomplishment in the public, private and nonprofit sectors unmatched by any current or prior candidate for governor.
“Chris Daggett is a person of the highest integrity and has an outstanding environmental record of real achievement,” said Rich Isaac, the Sierra Club’s state political chairman. “Chris Daggett is not beholden to special interests or making backroom deals and has consistently proven that he is committed to protecting the environment.”
The environmental group said Daggett’s actions as regional administrator for the federal EPA and state DEP commissioner earned a reputation as an effective and independent leader who put partisan politics aside in the interest of addressing issues critical to the people of New Jersey.
“The fact that Chris Daggett has raised enough money to qualify for matching funds and is in the debates shows that he is a viable candidate,” Tittel said.
“As the two major party candidates throw mud at each other and beat each other up, Chris Daggett will show the people of New Jersey that there is not only an alternative but there is someone who knows the issues and will fight for them.”
The Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots ecological organization with membership of over 20,000 in New Jersey, is one of two only statewide environmental groups that can endorse candidates for election.
“As someone who has worked closely with the Sierra Club on numerous occasions over the past 25 years, I know they share my belief that the best way to protect our precious natural resources is by making decisions based on the best science and sound public policy,” Daggett said.
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