So far, there are two declared candidates to replace 2nd Congressional District Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, who won’t seek re-election next year because he is running for governor. And only one of those two is a Democrat, which makes him not only the early favorite, by default, in the decidedly Democratic, Boulder-centric 2nd CD race — but also inevitably the recipient of not one but two union endorsements.
Democratic rising star Joe Neguse, who launched his congressional bid in June, picked up endorsements from Plumbers Local 3 and Pipefitters Local 208, a press release announced today. Here’s more from the announcement, issued by Neguse’s campaign:
“We need a truly progressive and bold leader in Congress now more than ever. That is why we are endorsing Joe Neguse for Congress. Joe will fight to protect our freedoms, and will stand up for middle-class and working Coloradans,” said Gary Arnold, Business Manager for the Pipefitters Local 208.
The press release noted:
… Joe supports progressive policies at the Federal level to support working families, including Medicare-For-All and the Raise the Wage Act. He also has been a champion for working families throughout his public service career, including as a CU Regent, where he fought for fair wage policies and to increase compensation for the University’s lowest-paid workers.
Neguse, a 33-year-old attorney and former CU regent, stepped down at the end of June as executive director of Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies. Neguse also was the Democratic nominee for secretary of state in 2014, losing to Republican Wayne Williams.
So, how much clout do blue-collar union endorsements carry among the upscale techies and academics — as well as the under-employed baristas and unemployed guitar strummers — in college towns like Boulder and Fort Collins? Well, think of it as solidarity between two traditional — if very different — Democratic constituencies.
And it’s not like the unions were about to back the 2nd CD’s only other declared candidate, Boulder’s Nick Thomas — who is running as an unaffiliated.
As reported previously by ColoradoPolitics.com, other Democrats considering a run for the 2nd include gun-control activists Shannon Watts and Ken Toltz, Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen, former Boulder Mayor Shaun McGrath and Loveland resident Howard Dotson. Prospective Republican contenders — always a long shot in a district that hasn’t elected one of their ilk to Congress in 40-plus years — include former House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, former state Rep. B.J. Nikkel (both from Loveland) and former Fort Collins City Councilman Gino Campana.