The 250 delegates of a statewide labor coalition endorsed embattled House Speaker Chris Donovan in his bid for the 5th Congressional District Tuesday.
Gathered at the Hartford Hilton, delegates endorsed Donovan by voice vote at the same time as they endorsed U.S. Reps. John Larson, Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, and Jim Himes.
The endorsement means Donovan and the current congressional delegation will receive the support of 200,000 union members from 500 unions in the state.
Donovan and his Democratic challengers, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire, and Dan Roberti of Kent addressed the delegates Monday, but none brought up the federal undercover investigation, which led the to arrest of Robert Braddock Jr., Donovan’s former finance director.
Braddock was arrested for trying to hide $20,000 in campaign donations in an attempt to influence legislation before the General Assembly. His attorney said he’s not guilty. Meanwhile, Donovan has claimed he had no knowledge of the allegedly ill-gotten donations.
“Together we will work to protect Medicare and Social Security from cynical political attacks, to bring good jobs with strong benefits back home to Connecticut, and to enact laws that guarantee equal pay for equal work,” Donovan said in a statement after learning he secured the endorsement.
But the endorsement news hardly comes as a surprise.
The AFL-CIO is just the latest labor endorsement for Donovan, who has picked up support of a large number of unions including SEIU CT State Council, Connecticut State Police Union, AFSCME Council 4, Connecticut Education Association, and AFT Connecticut to name a few.
AFL-CIO delegates also endorsed U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy for the open U.S. Senate seat, currently held by the retiring U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman.