SEIU Endorses Murphy
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania State Council officially backed Patrick Murphy in the race for Attorney General, the organization announced Thursday. Kathleen Kane’s camp says Murphy is out of step with SEIU’s position on the Arizona immigration law.
The SEIU represents around 80,000 workers in Pa. In a statement, representatives of the organization said they endorsed Murphy based on his record of fighting for working families and his vision for an Attorney General’s office that will defend the rights of all Pennsylvanians.
“My father was a member of a union, the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, for 22 years, so this endorsement is especially meaningful,” Murphy said in a statement. “I have always fought to protect working families and the rights of workers, and as Attorney General I will always enforce the law fairly to protect working middle class families.”
The endorsement of SEIU, which is among the more effective Pa. labor unions vis a vis grassroots campaign support, gives Murphy a significant electoral advantage in the April primary.
“In Patrick, our members always know they have a friend and a champion for middle-class families…which is exactly what we need in elected officials today,” said Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare PA. “Our members and former members are ready to hit the street for Patrick…[and] we’re ready to mobilize our grassroots network like never before.”
Murphy is facing former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane in the April 24 primary. On Thursday night, she received the unanimous endorsement of the Beaver County Democratic Committee.
Kane’s campaign suggested SEIU’s endorsement was at odds with Murphy’s stance on one of the union’s major issues.
“SEIU is a great organization whose support Kathleen hopes to earn in the general election. Given SEIU’s strong denunciation of Arizona’s harsh immigration laws that stigmatize Hispanics, it is puzzling that they would endorse Congressman Murphy, who boasted about his support for Arizona’s laws,” said Kane communications director Josh Morrow, citing statements from Murphy during his 2010 congressional campaign. “Congressman Murphy even criticized President Obama for his efforts to block Arizona’s unfair immigration laws.”
“Arizona is responding to a real problem and the administration’s decision to bring a lawsuit is flat-out wrong,” Murphy said at the time.
Correction: an earlier version of this story identified Morrow as Kane’s campaign manager. He is now accurately titled her communications director. Her CM is Sadie Sterner.