DC 37, the public employees union with the largest membership in New York City, announced their congressional endorsements this cycle for competitive primaries, which went to Councilman Charles Barron, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Rep. Nydia Velázquez. But it is the endorsement for Mr. Barron that stands out the most, as the rest of organized labor has gotten behind Mr. Barron’s opponent, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, as the two battle to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Towns.
“We have endorsed these candidates because of their record of standing by this union in our fight to protect the jobs, wages and benefits of our members and our retirees,” DC 37′s executive director, Lillian Roberts, said in a statement. “Over the past year, city workers and their unions have had to fight major battles to protect rights that we fought hard to win as well as to preserve the vital safety-net services we provide to an ever-growing clientele. While we have always been aware of the power of our vote, in these times we are paying close attention to the need to support those who support us.”
There is apparently a bit of a back story behind their support for Mr. Barron. Capital Tonight reported Mr. Jeffries had earned the union’s animosity by supporting charter schools and being allied with Brooklyn’s Democratic leader, Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
Mr. Barron told us previously that the endorsement would be “huge” and a “game-changer,” but he still has an uphill race against Mr. Jeffries, who has a huge edge in endorsements and fundraising.
DC 37′s support for Mr. Lancman and Ms. Velázquez is a nice boost to their campaigns, but a bit less surprising as, unlike Mr. Barron, they were already doing well racking up the support of labor endorsements.