While Gov. Chris Christie has already racked up four state trade union endorsements and one from a local, the support from organized labor has so far not translated into campaign donations.
To date, only the Laborers Union, which was the first out of the gate to endorse the governor, has come through with donations, contributing about $15,000 total.
But traditionally deep-pocketed unions such as the state Plumbers and Pipefitters, who endorsed Christie in March, have yet to make their presence felt. That union’s national parent donated $3,800 to both Christie’s primary and general campaigns shortly before endorsing him, but the state affiliate has so far kept its wallet closed.
Christie also has received the nod from the state Operating Engineers and from the cement masons, but those groups have stayed out of the money war so far. While the statewide electrical workers union has not yet endorsed the governor, he received the backing last week of IBEW local 102. That endorsement came after the cutoff for the latest disclosure report, so it’s not known if the endorsement was accompanied by a check.
Organized labor has in the past been among the largest funders of campaigns in the state, and Democrats, including Christie’s likely opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, have been the beneficiaries. In her past campaigns, Buono has received nearly 10 percent of her money from the trades unions, with the bulk coming from the Laborers and Plumbers.
In 2009, various trade unions donated at least $80,000 to then-Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine’s general election fund and at least $60,000 to his primary campaign.
Christie has not received endorsements from many of the unions who donated to Corzine, but labor sources say the governor is likely to add to his total of trade endorsements before the campaign is done.