VoteWater releases 2022 Voter Guide, endorses 11 candidates

The environmental advocacy group VoteWater has released its 2022 General Election Voter Guide, designed to help voters in 15 Florida counties identify clean-water candidates.

The guides, available at, include endorsements for 11 candidates. Three of those endorsements were announced last week: Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, incumbent Congressman Brian Mast (R-21) and Lindsay Cross, Democratic candidate for Florida House District 60.

The voter guides rank candidates at the federal, state, and county commission level in Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

“Florida’s water crisis is ultimately a political problem, requiring a political solution,” said VoteWater Executive Director Gil Smart. “We need better policies and better politicians with a commitment to cleaner water.”

In addition to Crist, Mast and Cross, other VoteWater endorsements include:

Eric Lynn, Democratic candidate for the Congressional District 13 seat. “As a native of Pinellas I know that protecting our water, our beaches, and our wildlife is not just an environmental issue in Florida but also an economic one,” said Lynn.

“Protecting our environment and our water has been a priority my whole life — from working on the Everglades Restoration act when I was a legislative staffer nearly 20 years ago to now — and it will continue to be a priority of mine in Congress. That’s why I’m honored to have VoteWater’s endorsement in this race.” 

Robert Asencio, Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 28. “As someone committed to fight for the preservation of clean water, I am deeply honored to be endorsed by VoteWater,” said Asencio. 

“From algae blooms to fish kills to coral reef destruction to sewage contamination, all of which endanger our lives and our livelihoods, there is no clearer motivation for me to champion federal policies to enhance the protection of our precious waters.”

Eunic Ortiz, Democratic candidate for Florida Senate District 18. “I’m proud to be endorsed by VoteWater,” said Ortiz.

“Our state’s natural resources are far too precious to all those who live, work, and play here to sit idly by as our beaches erode as waters rise because of partisan politics. We must elect leaders that will work with the scientific community to enact legislation that’s comprehensive and sustainable for our environment. I know I will be that leader on day one in the Florida State Senate.”

Janet Warwick, Democratic candidate for Florida House District 61. “When we entered this race, I knew my first priority would be to protect our waterways,” said Warwick.

“With red tide outbreaks, saltwater intrusion, and a lack of sanitary drinking water as encroaching threats, it’s despicable that we allow it to go unaddressed. Clean water is a fundamental human right, and I’m honored to stand with the Votewater environmental activists.”

Linda Thompson Gonzalez, Democratic candidate for Florida House District 100. “Clean water is essential to the tourism and maritime industries that are the basis of our economy, as well as to the beautiful beaches and coastal waterways that make Florida the place we all want to live,” said Gonzalez. 

“Yet our legislature has failed to protect our most vital resource. Blue-green algae blooms have become the new ‘normal’ as legislators have favored development over protecting our wetlands and water. Voters need to vote for representatives who will do their job to protect all of us.”

Sean Mitchell, Democratic incumbent, St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners District 2. “The protection of our waterways is important to me not just for the environment and the animals but for our community as a whole,” said Mitchell. 

“Tourism and small businesses depend on a healthy environment to make this a great place to live. We should all do our part to protect the waterways for future generations.”

Helen Lurry, Democratic candidate for St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners District 4. “Our water is our lifeblood, literally and figuratively,” said Lurry. 

“I am up to the challenge of being the advocate we need when it comes to environmental and water issues. When our environment and water thrives, so do we.”

Pat Gerard, Democratic incumbent for Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners District 2. “Public officials have a responsibility to their residents to ensure quality of life through sensible policy and services,” said Gerard. “Just as importantly, we have a responsibility to our children to ensure they have a quality of life equal to ours or better. To give our children and grandchildren that good life, we must preserve our environment and natural resources, including water. That’s why, during my time as a Pinellas County Commissioner, this county has taken steps to improve our water infrastructure. Our long-term supply of clean water also relies on green spaces that allow rainwater to filter slowly back into the aquifer instead of becoming runoff that sweeps toxins into the bay or the gulf. For the sake of our short-term and long-term water quality, it is critical that we keep elected officials who are careful stewards of our infrastructure, our environment, and our natural resources.”

VoteWater staff and volunteers utilized a variety of methods to determine the Voter Guide rankings, including questionnaires, campaign finance data, voting records and public statements on water/environmental issues.