Like you, all of us here at Conservation Voters for Idaho share a deep passion for protecting Idaho’s environment and, like you, we know that the best chance we have in that endeavor is to elect strong conservation champions to office.

Each year, Conservation Voters for Idaho provides independent, nonpartisan information to the public and our 20,000 members as to which candidates running for municipal and state offices are going to champion the issues they care about – protecting Idaho’s water, air and natural places. 

2024 Endorsement Guidelines

Conservation Voters for Idaho endorsement cycles are distinct, meaning candidates will need to apply even if they’ve been endorsed in previous years.

  • The Board of Directors of Conservation Voters for Idaho shall be responsible for making candidate endorsements with input and research from staff.
  • Staff and board deliberations about candidate endorsements are confidential and discussed only among those involved in the endorsement process. 
  • CVI has a preference for a single endorsement in each race as opposed to multiple endorsements. As a result, we shall choose the “best” candidate to endorse even if there are other candidates in the race who are espousing pro-conservation messages. “Best” is not merely who represents themselves as the most pro-environment, but is defined by whose endorsement will best advance the effort to protect open space, clean water, and clean air.
  • Past actions are given greater weight than pledges of action in the future and/or unsubstantiated claims.
  • Conservation Voters for Idaho recognizes that the current political climate calls for an assessment that is situational in nature. As the political climate evolves, so will CVI’s strategy and guidelines.

Process and considerations for candidate endorsements: 

BIPARTISANSHIP : CVI will maintain bipartisanship in making endorsement decisions. 

VIABILITY : CVI will make a viability assessment for each candidate upfront. This assessment will be based on several factors including, but not limited to: leadership in their community, written campaign plan, fundraising success, district candidate is running in, credibility, and percentage of win or loss in the previous election. When determining viability, CVI may inquire with opinion leaders and other elected officials. 

PAST ACTIONS : When evaluating an incumbent CVI will evaluate the candidate’s voting record from recent and past legislative sessions. At this time CVI will not require a specific minimum score for an endorsement but will evaluate voting records and consider the context of the candidate and the district. In addition, CVI will evaluate any previous co-sponsorship or leadership for pro-conservation initiatives or active leadership in defeating anti-environmental initiatives. 

INCUMBENT ENDORSEMENTS : Incumbents who have been previously endorsed with a proven record of supporting conservation may not be required to fill out a candidate

questionnaire. In some circumstances, previously endorsed candidates may be asked to complete a new questionnaire. 

KNOWLEDGE OF ISSUES : Endorsed candidates will have a working knowledge of environmental issues and commitment to protecting clean water, clean air, and open space. 

QUESTIONNAIRES : CVI will actively encourage completion of our questionnaire only in candidate races we have an interest in. The questionnaire form will be accessible publicly online. Any candidates who complete the questionnaire who are in races that CVI did not actively identify as “of interest” will be considered according to the guidelines herein. 

INTERVIEWS : The CVI staff and board will conduct candidate interviews where it is deemed necessary. 

EFFECTIVENESS : CVI will assess a candidate’s ability to work with and support the conservation community in efforts to advance the goals of conservation and environmental protection. We will also evaluate a candidate’s ability to work collaboratively within the context of elected office or other positions of leadership to support pro-conservation positions.