Date: November 10th, 2016

Conservation Colorado Statement on 2016 Election Efforts and Results

In reaction to this year’s election results, Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith released the following statement:

“With the results of the presidential election, it has been a challenging past two days for those of us who are fighting to act on climate change, clean up our air and water, protect our public lands, and make democracy more accessible to all communities.


Here in Colorado, the state Senate will stay in the hands of Republicans, whose recent work on energy and the environment is characterized by a lack of leadership and tired debates about the validity of science. We hope to turn the corner on those debates in the 2017 legislative session and that all of our elected officials will recognize the importance of environmental issues to Coloradans and businesses who want to see leadership, progress, and action to make our state a better place to live, work, and play.


We have many victories to celebrate, including Colorado leading the nation as the first state to have a Latina Speaker of the House. Overall, we saw victories for dozens of pro-conservation candidates for the state legislature and beyond. In total, 90 percent, or 54 out of Conservation Colorado’s 60 endorsed candidates, won their races.


Although control of the state Senate did not change, we are particularly proud of our work to elect Rachel Zenzinger to the state Senate. We invested more than $340,000 in SD-19 to educate voters about incumbent Sen. Laura Woods’ miserable record protecting public lands and open spaces.


We’re also proud to reclaim HD-59, where we mobilized volunteers and invested more than $133,000 to point out incumbent Representative J. Paul Brown’s denial of climate science and his lack of leadership protecting public lands and West Slope Water. Barbara McLachlan will be a champion for environmental values and the West Slope at the Capitol.


We also are pleased to see the state House expand its conservation majority with the pickup of three seats. We endorsed dozens of candidates, including several in battleground districts, and are looking forward to working with new and returning champions.


Additionally, all seven of our endorsed candidates for county commission won their races.


And through our Protégete program, we made an unprecedented effort to reach out to and engage with communities of color. With the goal of educating Latino voters about the candidates in top-tier races, we ran a massive voter outreach program and had conversations with thousands of Latino voters by knocking over 29,000 doors in Adams County. We put tremendous effort into ensuring our communities’ voices were heard during this election, and are particularly proud to see Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Joe Salazar win their races in HD-30 and HD-31.


We worked hard this year to translate Colorado values into action by helping elect leaders who will be champions for the environment and for our communities. Even in races we didn’t win, climate change and energy were prominent issues. We look forward to continuing to work closely with each and every one of our elected officials to ensure that our communities and our values are prioritized.”

In the 2016 election cycle, Conservation Colorado spent more money, endorsed more candidates, knocked on more doors, and engaged more voters than ever before. Our engagement included:

  • Spending $1.3 million on expansive digital ad programs, direct mail, paid canvasses, and TV and radio ads.
  • Mobilizing nearly 1,000 members and volunteers to knock doors, make phone calls, or otherwise take action to support pro-conservation candidates.
  • Knocking on more than 76,000 doors in key districts, including 29,000 doors of Latino families in Adams County with our Protégete program.
  • Calling more than 3,000 voters and sending more than 10,000 texts to voters.

For more information about Conservation Colorado’s work during the 2016 election cycle, as well as what the federal and state elections mean for Colorado energy and environmental policy, tune in to a Facebook Live conversation with Pete Maysmith Friday November 11th, at 12:30pm mountain.