DELAWARE COUNTY DAILY TIMES -- Pennsylvania Plumbers Union Local 690 announced Monday that it is endorsing Vince Rongione for the 163rd Legislative District.
Business Manager John Kane said the union is supporting Rongione because the Upper Darby Democrat proved to be a tireless worker while serving as an aide to former U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak.
“He’s an extremely smart guy,” Kane said. “He wants the job, which is most important. … He understands that job creating and education are among the most important things out there.”
Local 690 historically has supported state Rep. Nicholas Micozzie, an Upper Darby Republican who announced last week that he is retiring from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives at the conclusion of his term.
Kane said he has grown tired of Republican-led privatization efforts, arguing that the Democratic Party better aligns with the values of blue collar workers. Kane is running as a Democrat against County Council Chairman Tom McGarrigle, a Republican, for the 26th Senatorial seat.
“I’ve seen too many attacks on the middle class,” Kane said. “As of now, it’s a little bit too much for me to swallow.”
Local 690 has about 2,000 members working throughout 10 counties, including Delaware County.
“I think it’s a pretty good sign,” Rongione said. “People want to look forward. John Kane is a smart leader and the plumbers are smart union. They know we need new jobs and ideas to create jobs in our area.”
An endorsed Republican candidate will be announced in the next two or three weeks, said Andy Reilly, chairman of the Delaware County GOP. He said several individuals are considering running, all of them owning public service experience.
An analysis conducted by the House Democratic Campaign Committee revealed that Democratic candidates would receive about 52 percent of votes in the redrawn 163rd Legislative District. Under Micozzie, the seat has been a Republican stronghold for three decades.
“We’re running a very strong, aggressive, grassroots campaign,” Rongione said. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to win and represent the area.”
Reilly said the Republicans will endorse a candidate capable of gaining the votes of Republicans, Democrats and independents. He said the HDCC report is little more than a campaign fundraiser.
“I don’t put a lot of stock in that,” Reilly said. “To me, it’s just a fabricated, manufactured, Democratic report to try to help him raise money.”
Rongione has served as an aide to Sestak, former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney and former state Rep. Bryan Lentz. He also has gained the endorsement of United Steelworkers Union Local 10-1.
By John Kopp, Delaware County Daily Times. See original article here.