The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers announced it is endorsing Democrat Gwen Graham for governor, her campaign announced Tuesday.
“With 39 lodges across the state of Florida, you’ll find our union members working in manufacturing and aerospace from Pensacola to Miami,” Frank Ortis, president of the Florida State Council of Machinists, stated in a news release. “We are excited to endorse Gwen Graham and ready to elect her Florida’s next governor. Gwen has the experience and leadership Florida needs to create jobs, raise wages and lift up working families.”
The Machinists and Aerospace Workers is the second major union to endorse in the race for governor, joining the United Steelworkers, which endorsed Graham in June.
Graham, a former Congresswoman from Tallahassee, faces Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Winter Park affordable housing developer Chris King in seeking the Democratic primary nomination to run for governor in 2018.
In Congress, Graham co-sponsored legislation to raise the minimum wage and opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and authored the bipartisan Middle STEP Act to expand technical education.
“For almost twenty years the politicians in Tallahassee have had the wrong priorities for the wrong people. They’ve sold out to special interests and forgot the working men and women who built our state and drive our economy.” Graham stated in the news release. “We must do the common sense things other states have already done, like raise the minimum wage and pass paid sick leave — but those proposals alone aren’t enough. As governor, I will fight to protect Florida’s aerospace industry, create new manufacturing jobs and expand technical education in our schools.”