Freshman GOP U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack can now boast of being labor-endorsed. The International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 49 announced on Thursday that it’s backing Cravaack in the 8th Congressional District contest.
The 49ers opted to support the GOP incumbent over three DFL challengers in what’s expected to be the most tightly contested congressional race in Minnesota in 2012. Former Congressman Rick Nolan, Duluth City Council member Jeff Anderson and former state senator Tarryl Clark will face off in a DFL primary next month.
The 49ers cited Cravaack’s track record of supporting labor and his willingness to buck his own caucus as reasons for the endorsement. In particular, the union pointed out that the freshman legislator has voted against efforts to gut the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that a prevailing wage be paid on public works projects, on seven different occasions. The 49ers also commended Cravaack’s support for the proposed Keystone Pipeline, the Polymet mining project and the St. Croix River bridge as reasons for backing his candidacy.
“Local 49 is always ready to work with candidates of any party that are willing to support our jobs and our union,” Jason George, legislative and political director for the 49ers, in a statement. “Congressman Cravaack has fought hard for construction workers in the 8th district, and we are going to stand with him this November.”