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The Democratic candidate for Senate spent Monday rolling out dueling labor endorsements, with Arlen Specter winning the backing of autoworkers and a major western Pennsylvania union council, while Joe Sestak announced support from a powerful food workers’ union.

Specter’s endorsement from the Allegheny County Labor Council was particularly notable, since the support of the council, which represents about 100,000 workers in, is effectively a recommendation to the statewide AFL-CIO. As he’s racked up union support in recent weeks, Specter has continued to court the state’s largest umbrella labor group, which has backed him in the past. Specter was also endorsed by The United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, which represents more than 140,000 workers. Local union director Joe Ashton said in a statement that the “endorsement is extended to Senator Specter in recognition of his long support of working families and the issues that affect them.”

Sestak, meanwhile, was backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. The Local 1776 in Montgomery County is a powerful political force in the southeast. Its president, Wendell Young IV, nominated Sestak for the Democratic State Committee’s endorsement last month.

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