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Jane Castor picks up another union endorsement

SEIU represents more than 55,000 workers.

The Service Employees International Union Florida is endorsing Jane Castor for Mayor, the group announced Monday.

SEIU represents more than 55,000 active and retired healthcare workers, public employees and property service workers in the state.

“Working families across Florida are looking for leaders who will empower and build stronger communities. Jane Castor is the person to do just that as the next Mayor of Tampa,” said Monica Russo, President of SEIU Florida.

“Jane understands the struggles working people and their families throughout Tampa face every day. She knows the importance of fighting for a $15 minimum wage and building a more sustainable city so that every resident has the freedom to pursue their dreams.”

Both Castor and her opponent, David Straz, support a $15 minimum wage.

The endorsement comes on just after other major union endorsements from the West Central Florida Labor Council AFL-CIO.

Straz racked up a host of union endorsements ahead of the March 5 municipal election but has since not announced any new endorsements.

Castor also received endorsements from the local firefighters’ union IAFF Local 754, and the Tampa Police Benevolent Association, all but one living former mayor and Congresswoman Kathy Castor, among others. 

“I grew up in a working-class family in this city, and I am more than aware of how unions like SEIU only make Tampa stronger. As Mayor, not only will we will raise the minimum wage, but we are going to ensure that folks in every neighborhood can earn a good wage, have a safe roof over their head, and are able to equally enjoy in our city’s growing prosperity,” Castor said.

The race between Castor and Straz has grown heated in recent weeks with Straz launching an onslaught of negative television ads and a website criticizing Castor’s track record as Tampa Chief of Police.

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Castor’s campaign has condemned the negative attacks and has vowed to run a campaign based on issues facing Tampa residents.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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