National utility workers union endorses Joe Schiavoni for Ohio governor

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Joe Schiavoni has landed a national union endorsement in the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The Utility Workers Union of America endorsed Schiavoni, a state senator from the Youngstown area, on Thursday. While the UWUA is one of the smaller national unions, it represents thousands of power-plant and other utility workers across Ohio, including in rural areas along the Ohio River like Adams County and Jefferson County, where struggling coal-fired power plants are key employers, and where voters backed President Donald Trump by huge margins.

“Joe Schiavoni is a fighter for everyday people, and that’s what we need in Ohio,” UWUA President Michael Langford said in a statement. “It’s already a crowded field for 2018, and members of our union have worked with several of the candidates running for governor. But Joe stands above the rest when it comes to vision and experience on lunch-bucket economic issues, modernizing our infrastructure and preparing for a balanced energy future that will create jobs and grow the Ohio economy.”

Organized labor groups, a key Democratic constituency in Ohio, generally have avoided issuing endorsements in the 2018 Democratic primary as they wait for the field to clear. Many Democratic activists are waiting to see if Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general and director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will return to Ohio to run for governor. But Cordray’s future with the agency, which bars him from politics, is up in the air and the subject of an ongoing legal challenge.


Originally published in The Cleveland.