By Brad Pyle
Please enjoy our blog from HSLF’s political director, Brad Pyle, sharing out election results for humane candidates.
Every year is an election year, including 2023. As always, the Humane Society Legislative Fund was tireless in pursuing its strategy for electing humane candidates and making sure that animals have a voice in our democratic processes, especially on the local and state levels. Now, as the remaining ballots are being counted across the country, we can proudly say we accomplished our goal. This year, HSLF endorsed 139 candidates for office, including 84 candidates for state legislatures and 55 candidates for various municipal offices. We got political for animals; we got local for animals; and we got results for animals. At least 123 candidates we supported this year won their elections.
In two states, Virginia and New Jersey, we poured serious energy, effort and attention into changing the landscape for animals. HSLF issued a strong slate of endorsements in both states, supporting incumbents and newcomers alike. We are thrilled to share news of our endorsed winners.
In Virginia, Senator Jennifer Boysko (D) and Senator Bill Stanley (R), the two sponsors of a crucial animal testing bill, SB 1271 (2023), successfully won election in new districts. Other key HSLF-endorsed allies will join them in the general assembly, including Senator Scott Surovell (D), Senator Danica Roem (D), Senator Bill DeSteph (R), and Delegate Nadarius Clark (D).
In New Jersey, former assemblymembers Paul Moriarty (D), John McKeon (D), Raj Mukherji (D), and Britnee Timberlake (D) were elected to senate seats, from which they can continue to lead on key animal protection measures, this time in the other chamber. First-time assemblywomen-elect Margie Donlon (D) and Luanne Peterpaul (D) will bring to the Assembly a dynamic new energy and commitment to animal protection, joining incumbent allies like assemblymembers Carol Murphy (D), Robert Clifton (R), Alex Sauickie (R), and Michele Matsikoudis (R).
Further down the ballot, city councils, county commissions, and mayors’ offices also play a key role in fighting cruelty and protecting animals through their approval and administration of local laws and regulations. HSLF supported numerous municipal level candidates over the course of this year in Texas, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, New Hampshire, and Illinois. We carefully selected candidates who are committed to making the world a better place for animals, starting with their own communities. In New York, HSLF backed 21 candidates for New York City Council—19 of whom won their races, putting them in position to keep up the fight to protect the interests of the city’s carriage horses, urban wildlife, and animal rescue organizations.
In Indiana, HSLF endorsed Councilmember Adam Aasen (R), who was re-elected to Carmel City Council. Councilmember Aasen spearheaded an amendment to the Carmel city code which prohibits pet stores from selling cats and dogs. Similarly in Texas, HSLF is proud to report that Letitia Plummer (NP), Mary Nan Huffman (NP), and Sallie Alcorn (NP), all of whom supported the city’s humane pet store ordinance, were re-elected to Houston City Council.
The dedication of local candidates to animal protection reforms in their communities won’t disappear when they take other elected offices. It will continue to express itself. That’s why we work from at every level of politics, to identify and support those officials who understand our issues and, in time, helping them to rise to still higher elected positions where they can do even more good.
We are proud that we expanded our reach in this election cycle—but this is only the beginning. The new year is just around the corner, and we at HSLF know elections are not run and won in October and November alone. While we celebrate our accomplishments from 2023, we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ll now turn our attention to the 2024 elections and continue to support pro-animal candidates up and down the ballot.
Our success in election work would not be possible without a broad, energetic and resilient coalition of allies and advocates who show up to the polls with a deeper understanding of what’s at stake for animals. To you, we want to say this: thank you. Thank you for voting humanely. Thank you for paying attention to these crucial races. Your dedication to our shared cause helps us elect candidates across the political spectrum who stand with us on animal protection.