Republican Patrick Cassio has been endorsed by the New Jersey Carpenters union in his campaign for mayor of Rahway, where an independent Democrat, the Democratic incumbent and the GOP contender are waging a three-way contest.
They coveted endorsement from the 30,000-member labor organization is a strong indicator that the Republican is waging an unusually effective campaign in the predominently Democratic city.
Cassio is challenging Democrat Samson Steinman, who was appointed to the job on an interim basis after forcing former Mayor Rick Proctor to resign last September.
Steinman easily fended off a primary challenge from progressive Democrat James J. Devine but his prospects in the November balloting may be diminished by an independent candidate, Renee Bridges Thrash.
Thrash earned more than 900 votes when she challenged Proctor in the 2010 Democratic primary and she is the only African-American contender for mayor.
Observers say Steinman has been relatively quiet as Thrash has been vigorously pursuing support among Democrats, women and the minority community.
“It is with great pleasure that I give (Cassio) the endorsement of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters in (his) race for Mayor, Rayway,” wrote Michael Capelli, executive secretary treasurer for the union.
“Our Council represents over 30,000 members who are dedicated to their craft and who set the highest standards for skills in the construction industry,” said Capelli. “We believe in developing and maintaining intelligent labor laws that can serve honest workers and honest employers.”
“Our Council will always work to ensure and preserve fair labor standards and fight for sustainable capital construction programs which can create jobs and stimulate the economy,” said Capelli. “At the same time, we understand it is necessary to protect our members from proposals which would weaken their ability to secure work at appropriate wages.”
“These are our guiding principles that we look forward to working with you on, as we know you are the right candidate for NRCC members,” said Capelli. “We stand with you in the upcoming election.”
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