Election Day will determine the composition of the U.S. Congress for 2023 and 2024. Every member of the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election this year—and the consequences for animals will be profound. Passing humane laws at the federal level begins by electing humane candidates to Congress. That’s why your HSLF meets with candidates, examines their records, and supports those whose commitments to animal protection are clear.
This year, HSLF has once again endorsed hundreds of humane candidates running for public office. Each endorsement comes after carefully evaluating the candidate’s record, meeting with first-time candidates, reviewing responses to our candidate survey, and studying the demographics of the districts in play. HSLF doesn’t take a candidate’s political party affiliation or any other issue into consideration when issuing endorsements. What matters is what they have done or will do for animals and their protection.
Co-chairs of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), are among the many candidates up for re-election. This caucus includes over a hundred members of the U.S. House who come together to advance animal protection legislation in Washington, D.C. And we’ve endorsed both Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Buchanan as exemplars of the kind of officials we want to see in Congress — people who care about animals and are willing to do what it takes to secure good legislation in animals’ interest.
Many other legislative leaders we rely on to support animal protection in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election this year. One important example is Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Penn.), a lead sponsor of the Puppy Protection Act (H.R. 2840) to update federal standards of care for dog breeders; the Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R. 263) to reduce the number of tigers, lions, and other big cats living in substandard conditions; and the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act (H.R. 5441) to crack down on “soring,” in which trainers deliberately inflict severe pain on the hooves and legs of Tennessee walking horses. Also up for re-election is Rep. Susan Wild (D-Penn.), who is a lead sponsor of Goldie’s Act (H.R. 6100) to close enforcement loopholes in the Animal Welfare Act.
Many humane candidates are seeking election to the U.S. Congress for the first time. Laurel Lee, a Republican state official running to represent Florida’s 15th Congressional District, has earned our endorsement—and has committed to standing up for animal protection legislation if elected.
Every now and then animal issues gain unusual prominence in a campaign. The election to replace Sen. Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania is perhaps the most animal-focused contest of the year—with accusations of cruelty in animal testing being leveled against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is running against Democrat John Fetterman. Multiple organizations are running television ads highlighting Oz’s history and the cruelty of animal testing—and your HSLF has launched a television ad supporting John Fetterman.
With so much at stake for animals in the election, it’s more important than ever that animal advocates have their voice heard in our democracy by casting a ballot. Be sure to check out our list of endorsed candidates, find your polling place, and vote in this election. We’re counting on you to make sure your friends and family vote humane this November—it could make a world of difference for animals.