According to a press release unveiled by his campaign yesterday, the International Association of Firefighters announced their endorsement of U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut).
This was the first major union endorsement for the campaign of the senior Senator from the Nutmeg State. The announcement comes as a blow to the campaigns of former North Carolina U.S. Senator John Edwards who is having his campaign run by former Congressman David Boinor of Michigan who was always considered an avid supporter of all union causes.
The other campaign that this endorsement hurts the most is Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico who has cajoling union members to support his candidacy by promising that his Secretary of Labor within his cabinet will actually be a union member. Richardson also has recently released a plan which can be found on his campaign which is spending worth several million dollars to increase the pay and benefits of police officers and fire fighters. This is all to no avail however.
The IAFF endorsement is a hard-earned and well deserved victory for the Dodd campaign. The senator is someone who has constantly stood up against attempts to weaken the power of the National Labor Relations Board. Dodd was also a main supporter of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Dodd will now go on a tour to have the International Association of Firefighters from states like Nevada and Iowa. The Dodd Squad held a rally to announce the endorsement in Des Moines today.
Union members as well all know are huge constituencies particularly in the Democratic nominating process. Hillary Clinton herself recently received the endorsement of a union of federal transportation workers at an event in the University of Tulsa. Expect for there to be quite a rumble for the endorsement over culinary workers’ unions within Nevada in particular. The culinary union within Nevada is the largest within this crucial early western state. Bill Richardson has been visiting the state the most of the Democratic candidates in order to capitalize on the state’s growing Hispanic population. So the next time you see a waitress/waiter you should realize that this person deserves respect because they may have a lot of pull in selecting the next President.
The big fish that is still out to win is of course the national AFL-CIO endorsement. It is unknown who John Sweeney, the current President of the group would support however I would expect it to be someone who opposed NAFTA from the beginning. Chris Dodd could very well fit that role as sort of a dark horse candidacy.