State Speaker Jeff Merkley, who is fighting through a tough Democratic primary with liberal activist Steve Novick, chalked up the endorsement of the Sierra Club on Friday.
The environmental powerhouse has 24,000 members in Oregon.
“Speaker Merkley has been a champion for the environment and Oregon’s economy, passing legislation that has created economic opportunity, benefits to consumers and green jobs that are tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our time — global climate change,” said Ivan Maluski, conservation coordinator for the Sierra Club’s Oregon chapter.
Maluski went on to accuse Sen. Gordon Smith (R) of “often walking in lock step with the Bush administration” — a key talking point of Merkley’s campaign.
The winner of the May 20 Merkley-Novick primary will take on Smith in November.
— Josh Kurtz