In his quest for the open seat in the 10th State Senate District, Gary Holder-Winfield lined up some powerful allies, who are looking to deliver him thousands of votes.
Some 20,000 union members live in the 10th District, according to Lori Pelletier, executive secretary treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO. She said Monday that the labor organization is looking to get as many of its members as possible out to vote for Holder-Winfield (pictured) on the upcoming Feb. 25 special election.
Pelletier made those remarks Monday evening at the Greater New Haven Central Labor Council on Chapel Street in Fair Haven. She was one of several labor leaders who lauded Holder-Winfield as he received a ringing endorsement from the AFL-CIO and other local unions, including AFT Connecticut, which includes New Haven and West Haven teachers, the paraprofessionals union, and UNITE HERE.
Holder-Winfield, a New Haven state representative, is running for the Senate seat recently vacated by Toni Harp, now mayor of New Haven. He faces West Haven Republican Steven Mullins. The district covers about half of New Haven and a slice of West Haven.
Pelletier said Holder-Winfield has a perfect 18-0 voting record on labor issues during his tenure in the state legislature. She called him “a terrific champion for us” and called it a “no-brainer” to endorse him.
Bob Proto (pictured), president of the labor council, said labor supports Holder-Winfield 100 percent.
In brief remarks, Holder-Winfield said he is an advocate for the working class. Holder-Winfield said members of the working class too often vote against their interests because they misidentify themselves as members of the middle class. “There’s nothing wrong with being working class.”
Holder-Winfield also spoke about losing his mother in 2012 and taking inspiration from her wish to serve others.
“When we win, I will be a very good champion for you,” Holder-Winfield said.
In a regular election, Pelletier said, one out of four voters are union members. She said she’d like to bring that number up in this election to one out of two or three.
Pelletier said the AFL-CIO is looking to deliver literature to and contact by phone each of the 20,000 union members in the district, to get them to the polls on Feb. 25.
A special election held on short notice during a cold, wintry month makes for an unpredictable vote. Holder-Winfield said he doesn’t know how many votes he would need to win: “There’s no way to know. Any projection is kind of a guess.”
Turnout depends on the weather and on making sure people know the election is happening, he said.
Previous coverage of this race:
• On The Trail, The Political Becomes Personal
• Candidate Cries Foul At Clerk’s Office
• Holder-Winfield Files For Public Dough
• Holder-Winfield Wins Party Endorsement
• Goldson Drops Out
• Candidates Vow To Run On Clean Money
• Holder-Winfield Eyes Harp’s Senate Seat