Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack has thrown her support behind Monica Vernon for the 1st District Democratic primary today, as have two new labor unions in the last week. It’s a few more additions to the long list of public endorsements Vernon has received, who may soon run out of well-known Iowans to back her.
“Northeast Iowa needs Monica Vernon in Congress,” Vilsack said in a press release. “I know Monica will go to Washington and be a strong advocate for early childhood education and stand up for Iowa’s families. We need someone who knows how to get things done and I believe Monica Vernon is the right person for the job.”
“I am thrilled to have Christie’s support,” Vernon also said in the release. “As a mother of three, I know the importance of strong early education. You can trust I will always put the best interest of hardworking Iowa families and our children first.”
Vilsack’s endorsement is nice to have, and will be useful to have her speak at an event or appear in campaign literature. She’ll be one more advocate to help Vernon secure as much of the women’s vote in the district as possible, as she vies to be Democrats’ first federally elected female.
Still, the backing of the two new labor groups will likely have the biggest impact on the 1st District race. A few days after Labor Day, Vernon received the support of the Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and HVAC Service Techs Local 125 last Wednesday, and then Carpenters Local 308 on Thursday. That brings her to four total labor union endorsements so far, and the only candidate to have received any formal labor backing in the primary.
“Monica Vernon is a strong advocate for hardworking Iowa families,” said Plumbers Local 125 Business Manager Jerry Hobart in a press release last week. “I’ve seen firsthand how hard Monica worked to bring well-paying jobs to northeast Iowa after the devastating 2008 flood. We need Monica’s strong work ethic and advocacy in Washington.”
Both Vernon and Murphy appeared at the informational picket outside a Cedar Rapids plant a little over a week ago, and have both have been working hard to lock down labor support. Every union endorsement is particularly helpful to Vernon, whose two opponents are attempting to claim the more progressive title in the race.
Vernon’s full endorsement list can be found here on her campaign website.
by Pat Rynard