State Sen. John Sabatina Jr. last week announced endorsements from 13 unions, though challenger Kevin Boyle questioned the validity of a few of them.
Sabatina (D-5th dist.) claimed backing from the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters; Teamsters Regional Council; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 21; AFSCME District Council 47; AFSCME District Council 88; United Food and Commercial Workers 1776; Elevator Constructors Local 5; International Longshoreman’s Association Local 1291; Operating Engineers Local 542; Roofers & Waterproofers Local 30; Sheet Metal Workers Local 19; Philadelphia Federation of Teachers; and Bricklayers Local 1.
“I’m proud that my union friends recognize my commitment to labor and appreciate my almost 10 years in the legislature defending their cause,” he said.
Boyle, a state representative, contends that the PFT, Bricklayers and DC 47 have not made endorsements. In addition, he noted that the Carpenters union has since been dissolved and merged into other councils.
“After speaking with representatives of these four organizations, it has been confirmed that despite his campaign’s claims to the contrary, these unions have not made any endorsement of John Sabatina for the Democratic nomination for the 5th Senatorial District. Therefore, I am calling on my opponent to immediately withdraw his claim of any endorsement to set the record straight, both for the membership of these unions as well as the general public,” Boyle said.
In response Sabatina campaign manager Matt Williams said, “We’re proud that Sen. John Sabatina has earned support from working men and women across Northeast Philadelphia who are supporting the only candidate who is a proven fighter for the middle class and those struggling to make it.”
Boyle has been endorsed by nine unions, including those representing police officers and firefighters.
City Controller Alan Butkovitz has endorsed Jared Solomon, who is challenging state Rep. Mark Cohen (D-202nd dist.) in the April 26 primary.
Butkovitz is also Democratic leader of the 54th Ward.
“Jared has been volunteering his time over the past decade to do things like creating public-private partnerships to reduce crime and improve infrastructure in his neighborhood, starting after-school tennis and basketball leagues for youth, and creating a now 500-person-strong neighborhood advocacy group,” Butkovitz said. “The gridlock in Harrisburg requires a new, aggressive approach to the problems we face — it requires someone that has brought people together and can build a broad-based coalition to pass legislation. That person is Jared.”
Solomon, a lawyer and president of the Take Back Your Neighborhood civic association, has also been endorsed by International Association of Firefighters and Paramedics Local 22 and Plumbers Union Local 690. ••