Budzinski Earns Key Labor Endorsement for Congress Run

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SPRINGFIELD — Nikki Budzinski is clearly building momentum as she heads into 2022 and a run to represent central and southern Illinois in Washington.

This afternoon, the Illinois AFL-CIO — one of the most important voices representing labor in the state — announced it has endorsed Budzinski for Congress in the 13th District next year. This adds to a long list of endorsements Budzinski already has lined up, a few weeks before candidates can even start circulating petitions for office.

Read the AFL-CIO’s announcement here about why the influential group is backing Budzinski:

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The Illinois AFL-CIO, representing nearly 900,000 workers and their families across the state, today has thrown its political support behind Nikki Budzinski for Congress in the 2022 election.

The AFL-CIO’s Executive Board voted today to strongly support Budzinski, who has announced her intention to run for the Democratic nomination for the 13th District seat in Congress stretching across central and southern Illinois earlier this summer.

Find out what’s happening in Springfield with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Budzinski, a native of Peoria, has devoted her professional life to fighting for working families and the middle class since graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her grandfather was a union painter, and her grandmother was a public school teacher. She interned for former Congressman Dick Gephardt, former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, and for Planned Parenthood.

Budzinski has served as Political Representative for the International Association of Fire Fighters, Associate Director for Legislative and Political Action for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and as senior advisor to Gov. J.B. Pritzker on labor issues. She left her role as chief of staff to President Joe Biden’s budget office earlier this year to run for Congress.

She has lined up an impressive list of endorsements for the 13th District seat in short order, from unions representing electrical and communications workers, transit workers and firefighters to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, and a number of Illinois federal and state elected officials.

Budzinski promises to put working families first in Congress, through a $15 an hour federal minimum wage, a federal tax credit for families with children, and stronger health care, prescription drug and job training programs.

The new 13th District, reconstructed after the 2020 Census and recently approved by the state Legislature, is expected to stretch from the Metro East near St. Louis along Interstate 55 through parts of Springfield, then east through Decatur and to Champaign in central Illinois.

"This was an easy decision for our board because Nikki Budzinski is a true, proven champion for working families," said Tim Drea, Illinois AFL-CIO President. "At a time when our nation’s politics are so polarized, we know Nikki will put working and middle-class families first and always be a voice for investing in the workforce that drives our country’s success. We look forward to supporting her candidacy in 2022 and working closely with her to put Illinois on the right track in Washington."

Budzinski said the AFL-CIO endorsement is a major boost to her efforts to put working families first in Congress.

"I am truly honored to be endorsed by the Illinois AFL-CIO in my campaign for Illinois’ 13th Congressional district. I am proud to have spent my career working on behalf of working people; fighting for a $15 minimum wage, paid sick time, safe working conditions and retirement security. The labor movement built the middle class and that is why in Congress I will proudly support the Pro Act, to strengthen a worker’s right to have a voice in the workplace. I look forward to partnering with the Illinois AFL-CIO to deliver results for working families when I am elected to Congress," Budzinski said.

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via Springfield, IL Patch https://patch.com

December 9, 2021 at 04:20PM

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