A source with Greater MN AFSCME Council 65 says the union will back DFLer Margaret Anderson Kelliher for governor. The source declined to be identified because the news release won't be sent out until later this morning. (Update: news release is below)
AFSCME Council 65 has about 13,000 members and represents Greater Minnesota. It's much smaller than AFSCME Council 5, which has 43,000 members. That union announced last month that it's backing former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
This is Kelliher's third union endorsement. The 49ers announced earlier this week that it's backing the Minnesota Speaker of the House. The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees was the first union to back her when it announced its support for her.
Update: Here's the news release:
Greater Minnesota AFSCME Council 65 has endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher for Governor.
"Our Executive Board spent eight hours screening nine of the current candidates for governor," said George Plautz, President of AFSCME Council 65. "After hearing their views on issues of real concern to working people such as health care, education and jobs and considering who has the best chance to be elected, Anderson Kelliher was our choice," he added.
Greater Minnesota AFSCME Council 65 represents approximately 13,000 Minnesota local government, school, hospital, nursing home and non-profit employees outside the Twin Cities.
"Our members worry about how to pay for health care or whether they will be laid off on a daily basis. We need a governor who really cares about those issues and can do something about them," stated Steve Preble, Council 65 Executive Director. "We believe that person is Margaret Anderson Kelliher," Preble added.
"This was a difficult decision for our board. All of the candidates who screened would make an excellent governor and shared our values. But, when we finally had to decide, it was clear that not only would Anderson Kelliher make a terrific governor but her ability to build coalitions made her both the most electable and meant she could deliver on the issues that matter most to working people," stated Steve Preble.
All of the announced Republican and DFL candidates for governor were invited to screen before the AFSCME Council 65 Executive Board. Accepting the invitation to screen were Paul Thissen, Tom Bakk, Mark Dayton, Matt Entenza, Susan Gaertner, Tom Rukavina, John Marty and Steve Kelley. R.T. Rybak initially planned to screen but was unable to due to mayoral business.
AFSCME Council 65 is based in Nashwauk and has members in all parts of the state, from Austin to international Falls and from Moorhead to Duluth.