The new chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has ties to New Jersey politics.
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) is the granddaughter of the late Joseph L. Bowe, who served as mayor of Glassboro from 1959 until his death in 1967.
Bowe died of cancer at age 50, just hours before President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin met for a summit at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University).
Castor was less than a year old when her grandfather died.
Her mother, Betty Castor, was one of the mayor’s five children. She moved to Florida in the mid-1960s, became active in local politics, won races for county commissioner and state senator, and served as state Education Commissioner. Betty Castor was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2004, losing to Republican Mel Martinez by a narrow 49,4%-48.3% margin.
Kathy Castor was elected to Congress in 2006.
Bowe, a Democrat, was elected mayor in 1958 by 916 votes, a 59%-31% margin. He defeated Council President Joseph Lisa, who had beaten incumbent mayor Charles Boyd in the Republican primary by 137 votes. Boyd ran as a write-in in the general election.
In those days, Glassboro was a Republican stronghold. Democrats won three council seats to break the all-GOP majority in 1957.
Pelosi says that the new select committee is part of Congress’s mission to react to the urgency of the threat of climate change.
“The American people have demanded action to combat the climate crisis, which threatens our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation,” Pelosi said in a statement released today on Castor’s appointment. “Together, we must protect public health by reducing air pollution, create jobs by making America preeminent in green technologies, defend our national security by preventing climate-driven instability and uphold our sacred moral responsibility to leave a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come.”