The candidates vying for two open General Assembly seats in Delaware County have added to their endorsement stockpiles.
In the race for the 163rd Legislative District, Democrat Vince Rongione gained the backing of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council. Republican Jamie Santora earned the support of the Pennsylvania State International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 654 and the Delaware County Committee of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council for the council’s endorsement. An endorsement by the Philadelphia Council, of which the Delco committee is a part, has yet to be announced.
Democrat John Kane, who is running against Republican Tom McGarrigle for the 26th Senatorial District seat, also received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council.
The state Building and Construction Trades Council is comprised of 16 regional councils and more than 115 local unions from 15 international building trade unions. Its members include boilermakers, carpenters, electricians, pipelayers, roofers and sheet metal workers.
“It’s important to remember that this is a statewide organization,” Rongione said. “This is the working families of Pennsylvania speaking with one voice. It’s absolutely an honor that they’re choosing me as the best person to create jobs and move our economy forward.”
The endorsement marks the 12th announced by Rongione, an attorney from Upper Darby.
Kane, the business manager for Plumbers Union Local 690, said he “couldn’t be prouder” to receive the endorsement from the Building and Construction Trades Council. Kane, of Ridley Township, has received 36 endorsements.
“Too many working Pennsylvanians struggle to support themselves on minimum wage jobs,” Kane said in a statement released by his campaign. “As a plumbers apprentice in 1979, I knew what it was like to face unemployment. I knew what it was like to try and support my family and to worry about having health insurance. It is time for the state Legislature in Harrisburg to help put folks back to work at a living wage.”
Santora, an Upper Darby councilman, has announced six endorsements. His campaign manager, Pete Peterson, said Santora was proud to have the endorsement of the Delaware County Committee of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council.
IBEW Local 654 represents about 700 active and retired members in Delaware and Chester counties. Its members provide electrical work at various businesses, including Boeing, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Kimberly-Clark, Sunoco Logistics and Monroe Energy.
“I am honored to have the backing of our local electrical workers who play a vital role in keeping so many of our local businesses and employers up and running,” Santora said in a statement released by his campaign. “It means a lot to have earned the backing of trade, fire, and police unions, as well as the business community. The diverse endorsements I have received reflect the approach I intend to take in Harrisburg as a consensus builder who works in a bipartisan fashion and brings together diverse coalitions for the betterment of our residents and communities.”
Virginia Davis, campaign manager for McGarrigle, said Kane’s endorsement came as “no surprise,” given his role as a union leader. McGarrigle, of Springfield, is the chairman of Delaware County Council.
“Our campaign, on the other hand, will focus on Tom’s record of job creation and attracting businesses to Delaware County that benefit both union and nonunion, hard-working families,” Davis wrote in an email. “We will be rolling out a series of endorsements in the weeks and months ahead that demonstrate the broad support Tom has from both business and labor groups.”
Santora and Rongione are running to replace retiring Republican state Rep. Nicholas Micozzie. McGarrigle and Kane seek the seat being vacated by retiring Republican state Sen. Edwin “Ted” Erickson.
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