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Can A One-Issue Candidate Change Washington D.C. By Losing?

Bill Barron will give voters in Utah only one reason to elect him the United States Senate: He promotes himself as a candidate for those who want the federal government to take strong action to confront climate change.

Barron lives in Salt Lake City and works as Regional Coordinator for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “I believe there is no time to waste for meaningful and effective federal action. It is our best chance, and believe that we must try every angle to effect change,” he says.

Practically, his goal is to get 10 percent of the vote in this year’s U.S. Senate election in Utah. Getting 10 percent of the vote, Barron says, would send a message to Washington D.C. that climate action needs to be taken as soon as possible.

Is that what would actually happen, if Bill Barron got 10 percent of the vote? Would members of Congress in Washington D.C. look to Utah, and see a candidate who couldn’t even get a quarter of the vote, and decide to hurry up and take strong climate action as a result?

Democrat Misty Snow is challenging the incumbent Republican Senator Mike Lee this year. Whereas Senator Lee opposes taking action to deal with climate change, Snow seeks action on climate change, and related environmental issues.

Snow writes, “There is also the issue of climate change, which is caused by many of the same pollution sources that cause Utah’s infamous inversions. Failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could have a significant and negative impact on the health and stability of communities around the world. So it’s very important that we take action on this issue. Our country needs to make more investments in cleaner sources of energy such as wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal. We also need to invest in cleaner sources of travel such as electric and natural gas vehicles. It won’t happen overnight, but it’s very important that we start making these investments for our health and our future.”

Snow is also active on other issues, however. She seeks an increase in the federal minimum wage, criminal justice reform, and anti-corruption legislation, among many other platform items.

“Our country is failing its citizens on issue after issue,” Snow says. In such a circumstance, running for office on only one issue, as Lawrence Lessing showed America last year, doesn’t make either political or practical sense.

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Psst... what kind of person doesn't support pacifism?

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