Calling the former two-term governor a champion for working families, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters on Wednesday endorsed Democrat John Hickenlooper in Colorado's U.S. Senate race.
The union, which operates in six western states, represents 1,800 carpenters and others involved in construction trades in Colorado.
"Throughout his career, John Hickenlooper has stood with workers as an essential partner in the fight to ensure fair wages, safe working conditions, benefits and retirement security, for both workers and their families,” said Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dan Langford in a statement.
“In the face of unprecedented attacks on unions and the middle class, we need a champion in the United States Senate like John to stand up for working families.”
Hickenlooper is one of 10 Democrats running in a primary for the chance to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner.
The endorsement is the first by a union for a candidate currently running for the Senate seat.
“For the Carpenters, it's not about party, or ideology, it’s about getting things done and building things," Hickenlooper said in a statement provided by his campaign.
"It’s time for a senator who values 'Carpenter Economics': that means rebuilding our airports, mass transit, schools, and transportation infrastructure, like we did regionally here when we built FasTracks. I will always support working people, support a union’s right to organize, and protect their health care.”
During his eight years as governor, Hickenlooper spearheaded programs to encourage apprenticeships .
As a senator, his campaign said, Hickenlooper wants to expand technical and vocational training in addition to certified apprenticeship opportunities.