The Hotel Trades Council, which has become one of the most influential unions in New York City politics thanks to their aggressive organizing efforts and willingness to back both Democrats and Republicans, dove into the five boroughs’ most competitive congressional race this afternoon by endorsing Democrat Mark Murphy over incumbent GOP Rep. Michael Grimm.
“We’re all in. This is a priority race for us,” Josh Gold, HTC’s political director, explained in a statement. “We plan to do everything we can to elect Mark. He is someone who will stand up for all working men and women. He will fight hard for policies and legislation that will improve the lives of our members and help rebuild the middle class.”
The union is the latest to make Mr. Murphy’s electoral efforts a top priority, following a similar announcement from the RWDSU last week. Other Democratic-aligned unions have also endorsed Mr. Murphy, but HTC may be his first union backer with significant bipartisan tendencies.
Indeed, Mr. Grimm is no stranger to unions himself and has secured more labor endorsements than the typical congressional Republican. In fact, in all of New York State, the Staten Island representative had the only notable congressional race where the AFL-CIO outright declined to endorse the Democrat.
While the campaign arm of the House Democrats drew a giant target on Mr. Grimm’s back, the general feeling among insiders is that Mr. Murphy has a decent amount of ground to catch up before voters head to the polls on November 6th. The last public survey of the race showed the incumbent leading by 10%.