Big Minn. union backs Kelliher for governorby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota's second largest state employee union is lending its backing to Democratic candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher in the 2010 governor's race.
The 12,500-member Minnesota Association of Professional Employees screened the 2010 candidates earlier in the week and announced Thursday it was endorsing the state House speaker.
During a news conference with union leaders, Kelliher said she has the best plan to win.
"We're going to win this campaign the old fashion way, which is talking to Minnesotans about what's important to them," Kelliher said. "I think voters want a governor who gets it."
The union's executive director, Jim Monroe, said the screening committee deemed Kelliher the most electable candidate.
"Speaker Kelliher is willing to bring people together to solve problems in a crisis," Monroe said. "She has a history of respect for state workers and the work that they do."
Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty isn't trying for a third term, and more than 20 people are angling to replace him.
So far, Minnesota labor unions have gone in several directions on the race. Five major unions have now sided with five different Democrats.
The largest state workers union, AFSCME Council 5, is supporting former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)