Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Hickenlooper this week won endorsements from the United Farm Workers union and the local affiliate of Service Employees International Union.
UFW called the former two-term governor a partner helping farm workers "earn equal rights to overtime pay and a legal immigration process."
“As governor and mayor, John Hickenlooper demonstrated his commitment to the fight for equality and built a record of solving difficult problems,” said UFW President Teresa Romero in a statement. “He understands that the professional and essential farm workers whose skill and hard work feed America have earned equal rights and protections other American workers have enjoyed for generations."
She said as senator, Hickenlooper will help agricultural workers nationwide earn the same overtime pay they won in California in 2016 and bring the country "closer to winning a sane, legal immigration system that supports the people who feed us."
Added Romero: “We need leadership that respects the roles and contributions of all Americans and genuinely values those who feed us.”
Hickenlooper, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country, said in a statement that he was honored to receive an endorsement from UFW, founded by labor and civil rights legends César Chávez and Dolores Huerta.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted who our essential workers are and how crucial it is that we protect them," Hickenlooper said. "Sen. Gardner has undermined workers' safety by standing idly by as President Trump failed to lead during this crisis, putting millions of our essential workers and farmers at risk. In the Senate I’ll fight shoulder to shoulder with the folks of UFW to protect our farmers, deliver for immigrant communities, and build back better from this pandemic.”
SEIU Local 105 — representing 8,000 public sector employees, health care workers, janitors, airport workers, security officers and industrial workers —threw its support behind Hickenlooper, calling the Democrat "a champion for working families."
“This is the most important election in our lifetime," said Ron Ruggiero, SEIU Local 105 president, in a statement. "Now more than ever, we must elect leaders that will stand united with workers to fight for a better future. No matter where you come from or the color of your skin, our communities need elected leaders who will fight for racial and economic justice because we cannot have one without the other.”
Hickenlooper hailed the union's support, highlighting frontline health care professionals and other essential workers helping Coloradans during the pandemic.
“Working hand in hand with the folks at SEIU Local 105, we can build back our economy after COVID-19 better than it was before and ensure it works for everyone, not just those at the top," he said. "It’s time for a change in leadership in Washington to protect workers, create opportunities, and deliver for Colorado’s working families, and I look forward to helping bring that change.”
SEIU Local 105 also announced its endorsements in Colorado congressional, legislative and ballot measure races.
“We are proud to endorse local champions who both understand the real issues affecting working people and are dedicated to making lasting change in our communities,” said Michael Howard, president of the union's Committee on Political Education (COPE). “We need leaders who will fight for better working conditions, higher wages, safer workplaces, and the freedom to join together in unions. There is so much at stake this election, and we are ready to put in the work to win on November 3rd.”
Recipients of the union's backing, all Democrats, include: U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, Jason Crow and Ed Perlmutter, and 3rd Congressional District nominee Diane Mitsch Bush; and state Senate incumbent and candidates Karl Hanlon, Joann Ginal, Sonya Jaquez Lewis, Stephen Fenberg, Rachel Zenzinger, Dominick Moreno, Sally Boccella, Paula Dickerson, Jeff Bridges, Chris Kolker, Janet Buckner, Ronda Fields, Chris Hansen and James Coleman.
State House incumbents and candidates supported by SEIU, all Democrats, are: Susan Lontine, Alec Garnett, Meg Froelich, Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, Alex Valdes, Steven Woodrow, Leslie Herod, Emily Sirota, Edie Hooton, Karen Ann McCormick, Tracey Bernett, Judy Amabile, Tony Exum, Sr., Marc Snyder, Chris Kennedy, Monica Duran, Lisa Cutter, Dylan Roberts, Brianna Titone, Kerry Tipper, Lindsey Daughety, Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Yadira Caraveo, Matt Gray, Kyle Mullica, dShannon Bird, Mike Weisman, Tom Sullivan, David Ortiz, Naquetta Ricks, Iman Jodeh, Dominique Jackson, Jennifer Mitowski, Brianna Buentello, Mary Young, Cathy Kipp, Jeni James Arndt, Barbara McLachlan and Julie McClouskie.
The union also weighed in on several statewide ballot measures, voting to support Proposition 118, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Initiative; and Amendment B, to repeal the Gallagher Amendment; and to oppose Amendment 76, the Citizenship Requirement for Voting Initiative; Proposition 116, to decrease the income tax rate; and Proposition 117, to require voter approval for certain new enterprise funds exempt from TABOR.
EMILY’s List, a national organization that supports Democratic women candidates, last week added five legislative and judicial district candidates to the list of Coloradans it has endorsed.
“EMILY’s List is thrilled to support two more women for the Colorado state House, who will unapologetically fight for progressive values and lift up working families and small businesses every day in Denver," said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, in a statement.
"We’re also proud to endorse a slate of outstanding women in their bids for district attorney. Once elected, they will restore transparency and accountability to the criminal justice system, prioritize public safety, and stand up for marginalized communities that bear the brunt of a broken, inequitable system. Pro-choice Democratic women up and down the ticket continue to change the face of power across Colorado and we can’t wait to see these five public servants win in November.”
The Democrats winning fresh endorsements from the group are legislative candidates Naquetta Ricks in House District 40 and Jennifer Mitkowski in House District 43, and district attorney candidates Alexis King in the 1st Judicial District, Kaitlin Turner in the 11th Judicial District, and Amy Padden in the 18th Judicial District.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet endorsed fellow Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state representative from Steamboat Springs, who is facing Republican Lauren Boebert in the race to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
"We have an incredibly important House election in the 3rd Congressional District in Colorado, and we have a phenomenal candidate in Diane Mitsch Bush — somebody who has lived and worked on the West Slope for 43 years,” said Bennet at an event.
“If we send Diane to Washington, she’s going to fight for affordable health care, high-quality education, and our public lands. That includes the CORE Act, my bill to protect 400,000 acres of Colorado's public lands, which Diane will help us finally pass into law. Diane's opponent is a Trump ideologue. We don't need that on the West Slope or in our state. We need to flip this seat, elect Diane, and make progress for Colorado's workers and families."
Accepting the state's senior senator and former presidential candidate's backing, Mitsch Bush said: “I can’t wait to work with him in Washington to bring people together to get things done for Colorado, including passing the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act.”