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Charlie Crist picks up a labor endorsement in CD 13 contest

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

LiUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, has announced that it is endorsing Charlie Crist in the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional district.

“From construction and energy workers, to public employees, our members are moving Florida’s economy forward – and Charlie Crist will help us get the job done,” said Dave Brier, Business Manager of LiUNA Local 517. “Charlie worked to protect Florida’s jobs and hard-working, middle-class families as Governor, and he’ll do the same in Congress.”

On its website, the union calls itself  “the most progressive, aggressive and fastest-growing union of construction workers, and one of the most diverse and effective unions representing public service employees.” It is said to be nearly a half-million strong in membership.

“I’m humbled by LiUNA’s support, and I’m honored to stand with the men and women building America every day,” said Crist. “A strong middle-class economy depends on good jobs and wages, modern infrastructure and transportation, and affordable healthcare. I’ll fight to protect them in Congress – it’s what the people deserve.”

Crist is running against Eric Lynn, a former adviser in President Obama’s Defense Department, for the Democratic nomination for the seat. A PPP poll released two weeks ago shows Crist with a formidable lead over Lynn.

Mark Bircher is the best known name among the Republicans in the race, which favors a Democrat for the first time after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that it’s previous boundaries were drawn up in violation of the state’s constitution. Sharon Russ, Paul DeCally and Will Leverson are the other Republicans on the ballot.

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announced two weeks ago that he would not for the GOP nomination.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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