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WSLC votes to endorse Bob Ferguson for Governor

OLYMPIA (Feb. 1, 2024) — Delegates representing hundreds of unions from across the state voted at a special meeting of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO on Thursday to endorse state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s campaign for governor. The WSLC is the largest labor organization in the state, representing the interests of some 600 union with more than 500,000 members across Washington.

Bob Ferguson speaks at the WSLC’s 2023 Convention in July.

A two-thirds majority vote was required for endorsement. That supermajority was easily achieved in favor of Ferguson.

“This is a critical race for Washington’s working families and our affiliated unions want to hit the ground running early to support Bob Ferguson, who’s clearly the best candidate for governor,” said April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “Bob Ferguson has been a strong champion for workers in our state. From fighting wage theft to protecting Hanford workers, Bob has consistently stood up to big corporations — and the federal government, when necessary — to make sure working people’s rights are protected. We are confident he will continue to do so as governor.”

Labor endorsements are considered important because unions in Washington — and the WSLC, in particular — work hard to recruit campaign volunteers and activists who inform voters about the endorsed candidates and get out the vote on Election Day.

“Corporations outspend unions on elections by 16-to-1, so it’s not just about campaign contributions; it’s about people power,” said WSLC Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter, referencing Open Secrets research on political spending. “The WSLC endorsement means gaining grassroots volunteers who will roll up their sleeves to knock on doors, make phone calls, send texts, and have conversations with their co-workers, friends, and neighbors about why Bob Ferguson is the best choice for governor. We’re kicking off this work right now.”

The WSLC will host its regular 2024 endorsement convention in May where the council will consider additional endorsements in races for statewide offices, Congress, State Legislature, and ballot measures. A special endorsement meeting was held Thursday in conjunction with the WSLC Legislative Conference in Olympia to consider only the race for governor.

Ferguson is the leading Democratic candidate in the race and is expected to face former Republican congressman Dave Reichert, who has a poor voting record on labor issues.

In Congress, Reichert voted for massive tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations that have increased budget deficits, for job-killing “free trade” agreements, and to make it harder to form unions. Reichert not only voted against the Affordable Care Act that expanded healthcare coverage to millions of Americans, he repeatedly voted to kill it after the ACA was enacted.

“The choice is clear for Washington’s working families,” Sims said. “Bob Ferguson will be a governor who cares about workers and our communities — a governor who fights for us, not just big corporations and the rich.”

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!