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Labor union political support a mixed bag in 2020

Posted at 4:17 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 17:21:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Labor leaders have long endorsed Democrats, particularly in presidential elections.

That's also the case this year, with the Nebraska AFL-CIO, which is made up of hundreds of labor unions statewide, endorsing Joe Biden.

“As a lifelong supporter of workers, who has fought his entire career for living wages, healthcare, retirement security and civil rights, Vice President Biden will bring our nation back to the reality that it should be,” says Sue Martin, president of Nebraska AFL-CIO.

In an event held Monday, labor leaders, who also double as Democratic party leaders, expressed their support for the former vice president.

It’s been different in the local race for Congress.

Democrat Kara Eastman has the backing of the Nebraska teachers and farmers union, as well as steelworkers.

Republican Congressman Don Bacon says he has support from 23 unions, which includes steamfitters and plumbers, transportation workers and police.

“Each union has unique things that they’re looking for and I just don’t blindly support, I study them,” says Bacon.

Bacon doesn't hide from the fact that traditionally unions, and their workers, have not endorsed Republicans.

He says the key for Republicans to get their votes in the future, is to engage.

“What I find is, Republicans have not traditionally tried and that’s a mistake. So I’ve been a voice in Congress with my party, as well as local Republicans here to engage,” says Bacon.

Eastman has consistently used social media to show Bacon’s low lifetime score from AFL-CIO.

The AFL-CIO has decided to remain neutral in the race between Eastman and Bacon.