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United Mine Workers Endorse Critz in New 12th District

Congressman Mark Critz followed the example of his former boss, the late Congressman John Murtha, and announced the early endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America in the newly reconfigured 12th Congressional District on Friday.

“Mark has been a steadfast friend of the United Mine Workers and all working men and women, and he merits the opportunity to continue that work,” Edward Yankovich, the UMW International District 2 vice president, said in a statement released by Critz’s campaign. “We’ll do everything we can to help Mark win the primary and then the general election.”

A source close to Critz told the National Journal’s Scott Bland that more union endorsements are forthcoming, as the Johnstown Democrat seeks to introduce himself to new 12th District voters more familiar with Congressman Jason Altmire, whose 4th District was merged with Critz’s during last year’s once-a-decade redistricting process.

“I am proud to receive the endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America,” Critz said in the statement. “Creating and protecting jobs is my number one priority and that will always remain the case. This endorsement shows that I am the only candidate willing to stand up to the Tea Party and fight for workers regardless of what the polls say.”

Union backing – and more specifically, the Election Day logistical boost it can afford – will likely play a key role in the election.  More than two-thirds of constituents in the new 12th District hail from Altmire’s former district, though Critz has maintained a stronger relationship with organized labor in the past. 

Last week, Altmire released a list of more than 70 Democratic officials who had endorsed his campaign.  Critz released his own list of nearly three dozen endorsements last month.

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