Tuesday, January 12, 2010

ILWU Endorses Three Long Beach City Council Incumbents

The Southern California District Council of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has thrown its support behind three Long Beach City Council incumbents in the upcoming April 13 city-wide election while at the same time endorsing an opponent of one of the council strongest labor proponents in a fourth race.

The ILWU District Council, which represents more than 20,000 workers in the region including the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, voted Saturday to endorse incumbents Robert Garcia in the 1st District race, Gary DeLong in the 3rd District, and Gerrie Schipske in the 5th District race.

In the 7th District race, where termed-out incumbent Tonia Reyes-Uranga is running a write-in campaign for a third term, the union backed challenger James Johnson, an Assistant City Auditor. The move suprised come City Hall watchers as Reyes-Uranga is considered by many as the strongest pro-union voice on the council.

The union said that while Reyes-Uranga has been a major supporter of the union cause, the District Council felt that Johnson understood the issues of the ports better.

The union's District Council also voted to withhold an endorsement of any candidate in the four-way race for the 9th District, where termed out incumbent Val Lerch is also running a write-in campaign for a third term.