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Sweet blog special: SEIU locals splinter. Edwards grabs Iowa, California plus 8 other states endorsements. UPDATED.

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WASHINGTON--The Edwards campaign earned some bragging rights on Monday, an upbeat storyline that he won the endorsement of the Iowa, California SEIU locals and eight other states.

Team Obama is announcing they snared the Illinois and Indiana SEIU nod. The Illinois endorsement was a foregone conclusion. Illinois SEIU chief Tom Balanoff and Obama are close. Balanoff also appeared in an ad for Obama.

Edwards will be able to turn the Iowa SEIU backing into help in the first caucus state.

Figure Clinton gets New York.

Big prize is California and Edwards clinched.

Out of state SEIU workers can only come in states where they have endorsed; that's why the Iowa SEIU endorsement is a big deal to Edwards. Iowa polls show essentially a three-way tie. Must must win for Edwards.

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Edwards release...

EDWARDS WINS ENDORSEMENT OF IOWA SEIU AND NINE OTHER MAJOR STATE SEIU COUNCILS

Close to one million SEIU members choose Edwards because he has the strength and vision to win both the primary and the general election

Des Moines, Iowa – Today, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) state councils from Iowa, California, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio and Oregon announced they have endorsed Senator John Edwards for president, totaling close to one million SEIU members.

Representatives from several of the ten state councils joined Edwards for a press conference at the Eckstein Medical Research Building in Iowa City. The endorsements will allow these SEIU state councils, which collectively represent over 930,000 members, to organize efforts to turn out caucus goers on Edwards’ behalf within Iowa, and in any other state where the SEIU state councils have also endorsed Edwards. SEIU state councils across the country will be determining their endorsement decisions in the coming weeks.

“John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate with the vision, leadership and strength needed to win, not just the primary but also the general election,” said Dave Regan, representing the state councils of Ohio and West Virginia. “In the battleground states that I represent, Edwards’ broad appeal and strength at the top of the ticket will help Democrats in races at every level. He will help us build a true mandate that will bring real change to Washington, end the war in Iraq, bring truly universal health care, labor law and immigration reform – and these are the things that will improve the lives of working families across America.”

“As a Registered Nurse who knows first hand the need for health care reform, it's a great honor to announce that the members of SEIU Iowa have chosen to endorse John Edwards for president of the United States,” said Iowa SEIU Local 199 president Cathy Glasson. “In Iowa, we are uniquely positioned to see and hear the candidates, and members are well informed on the issues important to working families. John Edwards earned our support by taking a strong stand on health care and because he offers our members the greatest hope for restoring the American Dream.”

“California SEIU members know that John Edwards will be the best labor president in the history of the United States,” said Sal Rosselli, president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers West. “His proposals are far and away the best among the candidates on the issues that matter most to working Americans. Edwards has taken principled stands on workers’ behalf, when others took more cautious positions on issues that demand bold action.”

Added Tyrone Freeman, president of United Long Term Care Workers West, “We embrace his vision for opportunity for working people, and are proud to join his campaign of optimism, conviction and action that will bridge the divide between the two Americas. We will do everything in our power, in Iowa, California and across America to ensure that he ends up in the White House.”

“John Edwards understands the everyday struggles faced by working families across the country,” said TJ Janssen, a homecare worker from Wenatchee, Washington. “His commitment to ensuring quality affordable health care for every American is why I’m so excited to be supporting his campaign.”

The 2,000 members of the Iowa SEIU voted to endorse Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday evening. On Friday, the membership of the California state council of the SEIU, which represents more than 656,000 working families, also voted to endorse Edwards. SEIU state councils from Washington (103,000 members), Michigan (70,000 members), Idaho (450 members), Montana (500 members), Minnesota (28,000 members), Ohio (22,000 members),West Virginia (4,000 members), and Oregon (46,000 members), also announced their endorsements on Monday.

“SEIU is at the forefront of the fight to make work pay and provide economic security to hardworking families. I have proudly stood with them on the frontlines of the fight for working Americans for years, and I am honored to earn their members’ support in each of these states today,” said Edwards. “Together, I believe we can fix the broken system in Washington that has been rigged by corporate interests, and we can make this country work for regular Americans again.”

The state SEIU endorsements bring Edwards close to the three million mark in union support. In September, Edwards earned the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union of America (200,000 active and retired members), the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (520,000 active members), the United Steelworkers (1.2 million active members and retirees), and the United Mine Workers of America (105,000 active members and retirees).

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 15, 2007 1:36 PM.

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