Four union groups that supported Donna Edwards when she walked the halls of Congress stand by her again in her bid for Prince George’s County executive.
The unions officially endorsed her Thursday, Nov. 30 at the UFCW Local 400 headquarters in Landover.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union also supported Edwards when she ran for Senate against Chris Van Hollen in last year’s Democratic primary.
“We need to make sure we endorse candidates who share values that our members see themselves in that candidate and understands the struggles of our members,” said Dyana Forester, political and community affairs director for Local 400. “When Donna made the decision about what she was going to do, we decided that we need to be with her.”
Edwards’ other union endorsements are UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO (Montgomery County Government Employees Organization) of Gaithersburg, Unite Here Local 25 of Northwest and LiUNA! (Laborers’ International Union of North America) of Reston, Virginia.
All four unions represent more than 10,000 members who reside in Prince George’s County.
Although the unions’ endorsements carry some weight, Edwards faces two other popular lawmakers in the June 26 Democratic primary — Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (D-District 26) — as well as former Obama administration official Paul Monteiro, who is making his first bid for an elected office. Lewis S. Johnson, who hasn’t returned emails for comment, also filed with the county Board of Elections to run for the executive seat.
Current County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who is term-limited, will run in the gubernatorial Democratic primary race.
As for Edwards, she worked with all four unions either as a community activist and leader in private sector organizations such as the Arca Foundation, or her eight years in Congress.
Edwards, who currently resides at National Harbor that she addresses on her mail as “Oxon Hill,” worked with Unite Here Local 25 of Northwest, which represents hospitality workers in the D.C. region, to organize and receive contracts with the Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor.
“The people who are working there are living better because of the work she did,” said John Boardman, executive secretary with Local 25. “We have a special relationship with her. She’s been like that from day one.”
Gino Renne, president of UFCW Local 1994, said his organization didn’t endorse a candidate in last year’s Senate primary because of its allegiance to both Edwards and Van Hollen, but has no such problem backing Edwards’ run for county executive.
“I am disappointed in politicians because they say one thing and do another. Donna is not like that,” Renne said Friday. “She says something and she does it. She always stood on the right side. In today’s political world, that is a rare commodity. We will fight for her every opportunity we can.”