Score one big political point for former Gov. John Kitzhaber
today in his run for his old job.
Kitzhaber, who was governor from 1995 through 2002, announced this afternoon that he picked up the endorsement in the May Democratic primary of the AFL-CIO, which represents 225,000-plus Oregonians.
Former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
, who's running in the Democratic primary against Kitzhaber, had hoped in the battle for union endorsements
that the AFL-CIO would remain neutral. Kitzhaber also has been endorsed in the gubernatorial primary by several other unions, most recently including Boilermakers Local 500, the Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1 Oregon, the Heat & Frost Insulators Local 36 and the Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers Local 156.
Tomorrow in Eugene, the powerful Oregon Education Association is scheduled to make its endorsement in the race.
: Bradbury spokesman Jeremy Wright said the endorsement was devalued because Kitzhaber's supporters on the AFL-CIO council called for the vote without the presence of the Oregon School Employees Association, one of the AFL-CIO's largest voting blocs. "I think it is a telling sign that a former two term Governor was only able to get the endorsement of the AFL-CIO without all the member unions voting and present,” Wright said.