In the race for the 15th Congressional District, Councilman Ritchie Torres leads the pack on endorsements, grabbing his latest backing from the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United, SEIU, an 8,500-member strong union in the city alone.
This is Torres’ eighth union endorsement since entering the race in March, beginning with Teamsters Local 237, Steamfitters, Ironworkers Local 46, Hotels Trades Council, LiUNA, and Machinists have also thrown their support. Members include laundry workers that work for Unitex, Arrow Linen, and Elite Airline Linen. Members also work for Manhattan Beer, which holds its headquarters in Hunts Point, one of the areas the 15th Congressional District covers.
In a joint statement, Alberto Arroyo and Megan Chambers, co-managers of the union, called Torres a “relentless advocate” and one who will “stand up for immigrants and working families” if elected to go to Washington, D.C.
Torres, in his statement, declared union workers are “under attack by the Trump Administration” and in need of a “fighter in Washington, D.C.”
“I remain committed to protecting these workers and their rights. The backing of Workers United SEIU further solidifies labor’s support of my candidacy and trust that I’m the best candidate in the race to represent their values in Congress,” said Torres.
In securing the endorsement, Torres is positioned to garner boots-on-the-ground support in his race for the seat that largely covers the South Bronx. The field of candidates is big, with former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblyman Michael Blake, Bronx economic development czar Marlene Cintron, Assemblyman Michael Blake, community organizers Samelys Lopez, Jonathan Ortiz, and Tomas Ramos, and Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Rev. Ruben Diaz Jr. also mounting a campaign. While the bulk of the candidates have outlined a more progressive agenda, Diaz, who’s picked up no endorsements but has a groundswell of supporters within the district, stands as the most socially conservative Democrat in the race.
Some endorsements have come for Blake, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, who picked up his only union endorsement so far from the New York City District Council of Carpenters on Nov. 21. “As a son of labor, I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters to be the next Member of Congress for New York’s 15th district as the Carpenters recognize and support our #BelieveintheBx vision to create jobs and opportunities for all,” said Blake in a statement.
In a statement, Joseph Geiger, the executive secretary and treasurer for the 22,000-strong union group, said he’s confidence Blake “will provide a pathway to more secure career opportunities and growth for the hardworking men and women in our area.”