Brandon Johnson nabs another union endorsement for Chicago mayor

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Another chapter of an influential labor group announced Monday it is backing Brandon Johnson for mayor, as expected.

The Service Employee International Union Healthcare Illinois rolled out the endorsement in front of its Near South Side headquarters, joining SEIU Local 73 in its announcement last week that the Cook County commissioner should be the next mayor of Chicago. Before that, the powerful Chicago Teachers Union voted to endorse Johnson, a former teacher, in September, shortly before he joined the race.

Greg Kelley, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, introduced Johnson as “a former organizer who has fought with us side by side.”

”This is a Chicago where our opportunities are the same no matter what your ZIP code is, whether you live on the North Side, the South Side or the West Side. This is the Chicago that Brandon is fighting for, that our members are fighting for,” Kelley said.

SEIU Healthcare Illinois represents 90,000 hospital, nursing home, home care and child care workers in the Midwest, while SEIU 73 has more than more than 31,000 members in schools, government, social services and more throughout Illinois and Indiana. There is also SEIU Local 1, which represents maintenance and janitorial workers.

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s thinking about running for Chicago mayor  ]

The growing labor support for Johnson will prove useful as the challenger jockeys for progressive votes as well as big donations, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot still possesses a strong fundraising advantage. U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García also announced his entrance into the race last week, further complicating how the race to unseat Lightfoot will unfold.

Others challenging Lightfoot in the Feb. 28 election are City Council members Sophia King, Raymond Lopez and Roderick Sawyer; businessman Willie Wilson; former CPS CEO Paul Vallas; state Rep. Kam Buckner; and community activist Ja’Mal Green.

Lightfoot has touted labor endorsements from the Ironworkers District Council of Chicago; the Administrative District Council 1 of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; Local 11 Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; the American Postal Workers Union Local 1; and Plumbers Local 130.

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November 14, 2022 at 10:44AM

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