NEWARK — New Jersey Labor Unions are splitting tickets in the heated battle for the 10th Congressional District seat.
Donald Payne Jr. today picked up the endorsement of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 108 which represents 5,000 retail workers. The announcement comes just a day after Ron C. Rice picked up a valuable nod from the Communications Workers of America, the state’s biggest union representing 70,000 members.
“Our members heard directly from all the candidates, and Ron clearly stood out. He has been a dedicated leader in our community who has taken tough stands for working people and has stayed true to progressive values,” said Hetty Rosenstein, CWA’s state director in a statement. “In Congress we know that Ron Rice will continue to fight every day for New Jersey and stand up to the corporate special interests who have too much power in Washington.”
SEIU Local 617 President Rahaman Muhammad is also supporting Rice, and the statewide union is expected to make an endorsement this week.
Muhammad said many of the 10th District candidates have good labor credentials, but Rice has the best.
“I’m supporting Ron Rice because he has the most progressive record,” Muhammad said. “But they all have good labor records.”
Still, labor is not going solely for Rice. Payne has picked up the endorsements of the Teamsters and today of the retail workers.
“Donald M. Payne Jr. has long been a champion of the many progressive causes that matter to working families in this Congressional district,” said RWDSU Local 108 President Charles N. Hall Jr. “Just as Don has been on the ground supporting our community, we will be on the ground doing everything we can to ensure his victory.”
On Thursday, May 24, Rutgers’ WRNU Radio show, “All Politics are Local” will host the only debate in the race with Payne, Rice, State Sen. Nia Gill and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith at 6 p.m. at the Newark campus’ Paul Robeson Center.
Also running are Dennis Flynn and Cathy Wright. The Democratic primary will be held June 5.