The Florida AFL-CIO is opposed to many of the policies of Republican Rick Scott, so there has never been any doubt that the state’s largest labor union would eventually support the Democratic nominee for governor.
But whether Big Labor would endorse before the Democratic primary between Charlie Crist and Nan Rich was a different question entirely.
That’s why it’s somewhat of a coup for newly-minted Democrat Charlie Crist to have won the AFL-CIO endorsement.
“Florida AFL-CIO #Cope14 officially endorses @CharlieCrist to be Florida’s next governor,” tweeted the organization on Sunday morning after its members voted.
Crist and former state Sen. Nan Rich spoke at the convention on Saturday, but did not engage each other directly. Rich has pressed Crist to debate her but so far he has refused.
On Friday, Crist won the unanimous endorsement of Florida’s Professional Fire Fighters. The Florida Education Association has already endorsed Crist over incumbent Gov. Rick Scott.
“Our economy works best when we build from the middle class out,” said Crist. “I am proud to stand with my brothers and sisters in the AFL-CIO to make sure that all Floridians have a fair shot at the American Dream.”
Commenting on the AFL-CIO backing of Crist, Florida GOP chair Leslie Dougher said that the endorsement “proves just how out of touch they & Charlie Crist are with Florida’s working families.”