Look for the union label: New Jersey governor Chris Christie has secured the endorsement of the 20,000 strong Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). From a press release:
“We can look back on the past three years and be proud of the work Chris Christie has done to make New Jersey a stronger place for families and businesses, just as we can look ahead at the next five years and know that Chris Christie is the person best equipped to address problems and create opportunities. He has demonstrated uncommon leadership as well as a keen understanding of our union and its members. He has earned our support,” said Raymond M. Pocino, Vice President and Eastern Regional Manager.
Today’s announcement before hundreds of LIUNA members is not only the first major endorsement highlighted by the Governor’s reelection campaign, it also marks a significant shift from LIUNA’s support of Democrat Jon Corzine over Christie in the 2009 race.
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“I’m grateful for LIUNA’s endorsement. LIUNA members know all too well that when our economy is growing, when businesses are investing, and when the state is aggressively working with the private sector, good things happen, good paying jobs are created and we see families succeed,” said Governor Christie. “The policies we have put in place over the last three years have put New Jersey on the path to long-term job growth. I look forward to working with great partners like LIUNA to continue the positive progress in the coming years.”
Christie has been cultivating the relationship with Pocino for some time, and it doesn’t hurt that the governor retained him as a member of the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. But the union also likes Christie’s prioritization of infrastructure spending, and though they endorsed Corzine against Christie three years ago, they did endorse Whitman in ‘97.
One has to think that with the endorsement coming at a hundreds-strong “campaign event” today–despite the fact that Christie won’t officially launch his campaign until next year–that the timing might have something to do with encouraging Cory Booker to look toward the United States Senate for his next gig.