Reno Wins First Labor Union Endorsement

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:28 PM EDT

( - The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Friday announced its endorsement of former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno for the Democratic nomination for Florida governor.

This is Reno's first labor union endorsement.

Michael Monroe, IUPAT International President said, "Janet Reno is the only candidate that can beat (Republican Governor) Jeb Bush this November, and we look forward to working closely with her in this important campaign."

Reno welcomed the endorsement, saying the union has "proven themselves in 2000 and 2001 to be a major force for Democratic candidates and I am glad to have them on my side. They are a union which represents all of the people of Florida, including women, people of color and new immigrants."

Union officials said the group has about 4,000 active members in Florida and about 20,000 union retirees in the state.

Reno is competing against four other Democrats to challenge Bush in November.

Tampa attorney and fellow Democrat Bill McBride, who is making his first run for public office, has received endorsements from three unions: the Florida Education Association; Florida Building Trades Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Next month, the Florida AFL-CIO is to make its gubernatorial endorsement. Reports said Reno has been wooing AFL-CIO members and had a recent meeting in Washington with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in hopes of getting that coveted endorsement.

Competing against Reno for the nomination are McBride, state Representative Lois Frankel and state Senator Darryl Jones.

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