Some elections are harder fought than others. Some losses are more painful than others. This was a very hard fought election. Ocean Champions will continue to evaluate the evolving political landscape and adjust as needed to advance our mission: to build the political power necessary to ensure thriving oceans and coasts.
I will share the election results of Ocean Champions endorsed candidates, but first, let me say a few words about the new administration. It is uncertain what it will mean for our oceans. While the composition of a new administration is beginning to take shape, we are identifying opportunities to foster relationships in the White House that will benefit ocean health. We are talking to folks on the Trump transition team and our friends on Capitol Hill to gain insights into what the Trump agenda may be so we can better advance ocean policy or defend hard fought ocean victories.
On election night, two years of work came to fruition. Ocean Champions helped elect 51 pro-ocean candidates to the US House and Senate, bringing the overall total in the next Congress to 71 ocean champions which includes:
- Fourteen first-time ocean champions including eight new members to Congress – two in the Senate, six in the House
- Increased the number of Republican ocean champions: ocean health is nonpartisan
- Won our largest Independent Expenditure campaign – returning Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1) to Congress
- Increased the number of ocean champions on key committees
We suffered some very tough losses. It’s always difficult to lose strong ocean champions in Congress. We’re going to miss long-time Congressman and steadfast champion Mike Honda. We lost up and coming Patrick Murphy, running for a Senate seat. We hope we have an opportunity to support him again in the future. On the challenger front, we’d like to give special recognition to Katie McGinty, Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, who ran a strong campaign and came so close to winning.
We know that challenges lie ahead in the upcoming Congress. We are hopeful because we just helped elect more than 50 ocean champions, and we have relationships with each and every one of them. We have a track record of success based on these champions in the past under similarly challenging circumstances, and we know how hard they will fight for the issues that are important for ocean health.
Now we must continue to work together, and mobilize more people to help us determine the winners and the losers of elections.
Because at the end of the day, elections matter, and elections have consequences. Join us today so that together, we elect more champions to ensure strong ocean policies.