Sierra Club endorses Jefferson Smith for Portland mayor

Sierra Club's Oregon chapter has endorsed Jefferson Smith for Portland Mayor.
Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal

Sierra Club's Oregon chapter has endorsed Jefferson Smith for Portland Mayor. 

The Columbia Group Sierra Club announced Tuesday it had endorsed Jefferson Smith as its candidate of choice over Charlie Hales for mayor of Portland, citing Smith's record on the environment.

The endorsement comes just over two months before the November election and in a week where Smith's poor driving record is dominating the discussions of the Mayor's race.

Nancy Hatch, chair of the political committee for Sierra Club's Columbia Group chapter, praised Smith's leadership on issues including coal export, transportation and environmental justice in addition to his history of working with advocacy groups including Sierra Club.

Hatch also referenced Smith's record in the Oregon State Legislature — Smith, a democrat, represents Oregon's 47th District.

"Jefferson’s environmental leadership in the legislature also stood out, including co-leading the effort to pass legislation to expand school weatherization programs to save energy, protect the climate, and create jobs; his willingness to ask tough questions about the Columbia River Crossing bridge expansion; and his efforts on complex issues of water use and conservation," Hatch said in a statement.

Hatch said that both Smith and his opponent, Charlie Hales, have shown support for Sierra Club's priorities, but that Smith rose to the top of the list.

Sierra Club representatives have been vocal opponents on the ongoing debate over coal export facilities in the Pacific Northwest and are working with Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz on an anti-coal resolution for Portland.

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