Ohio Gov. John Kasich accepted an endorsement from the Carpenters Union Wednesday, a rare example of union backing for a Republican ahead of November’s elections.
This most recent endorsement marks the second union to announce their support for Kasich after the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18 did last month. Kasich is also expected to receive a third labor endorsement Thursday from the Ohio Laborers District Council according to according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
However, despite this recent wave of support by organized labor, most unions have publicly backed Democrat Ed Fitzgerald instead. Many of these unions didn’t like Kasich’s support of Senate Bill 5, which curtailed public unions’ collective bargaining power. It was repealed by voters in 2011.
Recognizing this, Kasich told the Plain Dealer, “For too long there’s been a disconnect between people like me and organized labor.”
He added, “This was not easy for you to endorse a Republican governor — not easy — but we’ve gotten to know each other over time.”
Kasich told the Carpenters Union the endorse was “a big deal” and added, “I grew up with you, I lived in your neighborhood.”
The Carpenters Union political director, Jason Clark, was quoted by the Plain Dealer as saying, “It’s greatly appreciated and we look forward to working with the governor and lieutenant governor in the future and further building that relationship.”
Clark added the Ohio Department of Transportation budget, the passage of the 2013 capital appropriations bill and the growing oil and gas industry were some of the reasons for endorsing Kasich over his Democratic opponent.
Kaisch leads in the polls by a wide margin.
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