Election 2018Hot Sheet

Steelworkers back Democrat Cary Kennedy for governor of Colorado

Author: Ernest Luning - February 17, 2018 - Updated: February 17, 2018

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, a former Colorado state treasurer, talks with voters after participating in a forum sponsored by DemEnterCO and other organizations on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at the Wheat Ridge Grange in Wheat Ridge. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cary Kennedy, a former Colorado state treasurer, talks with voters after participating in a forum sponsored by DemEnterCO and other organizations on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at the Wheat Ridge Grange in Wheat Ridge. (Photo by Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics)

Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy, one of five leading Democrats running for governor of Colorado, has won the unanimous endorsement of the United Steelworkers District 12 labor union, her campaign Friday.

“Cary Kennedy is a proven leader who shares United Steelworkers’ vision and values. She has the experience and the vision to lead Colorado and we know she will fight for Colorado’s working families while she is at the State Capital as our next governor. We look forward to working alongside Cary Kennedy to make sure she is the next governor of Colorado,” said Cody Brown, the union’s staff representative, in a statement.

“Colorado has one of the strongest economies in the country, but this progress is not reaching everyone in our state. I look forward to working with United Steelworkers District 12 to make sure we are building an economy where working families can succeed.” Kennedy said in a statement welcoming the endorsement.

The union represents workers in nearly every industry imaginable in  Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. It’s the largest industrial union in North America, with 1.2 million members.

Kennedy and primary rival Jared Polis, a five-term Democratic congressman from Boulder, have been splitting endorsements from labor unions lately as the March 6 precinct caucuses approach.

She’s won the backing of the Colorado Springs-based Pipefitters Local 58 union, the Colorado Education Association and state chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. Polis has the endorsements of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, Denver-based Pipefitters Local 208 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers.

The other leading Democrats running in the primary to succeed term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper include Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, former state Sen. Mike Johnston and plastics manufacturer and civic leader Noel Ginsburg.

Ginsburg announced this week he plans to join Polis and Kennedy going through the caucus and assembly process in addition to seeking a spot on the June primary ballot by petition.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.