DFL to endorse in 5B primary; Pierce wins backing of Steelworkers local

A few more interesting notes on 5B to pass along:

The DFL will hold an endorsing convention at the former HCC/Range Tech central campus at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. None of the candidates will be able to abide by the endorsement, on account of the impending primary on Tuesday, Feb. 1, but local DFL leaders have apparently decided there is value in screening the candidates on issues. Delegates from the last county unit convention in 2010 will be eligible to participate.

Ray Pierce Jr. won a key endorsement:

Members of USW Local 2660 voted today to Endorse Ray Pierce Jr. as the successor to outgoing Representative Tony Sertich’s seat in the House of Representatives District 5B. Ray has made working families and labor the cornerstone of his campaign.

Keewatin is not in District 5B but the pellet plant is actually located over the line in St. Louis County (5B) and many of the workers live in 5B. This is the first entry of any Steelworkers local into the race. The Steelworkers and AFL-CIO have not weighed in on the race at the district level.

As mentioned before, Carly Melin has won backing from Education Minnesota. She’s also won support from AFSCME Councils 5 and 65. That makes Melin and Pierce the only two candidates with union backing at this time. Union endorsements won’t necessarily swing the election, but labor is strong on the Range and endorsements do provide some footholds in a short DFL primary campaign like this one.

I posted a short item on Wednesday’s forum earlier Thursday.

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