The New York Hotel Trades Council, which has emerged as one of New York City’s most powerful labor unions in recent elections, is set to throw its endorsement to Queens Democratic State Sen. Joe Addabbo.
In a statement, HTC political and strategic affairs director Josh Gold said that Addabbo’s efforts to push forward casino gambling in his southeast Queens district — home of the Aqueduct racino — had helped seal the endorsement. The union has 1,200 members who work at Aqueduct, and Addabbo is also on the Senate’s racing and wagering committee.
“Joe Addabbo is the kind of fighter working people need in Albany,” Gold said in a statement. “Senator Addabbo has led the fight to make sure that any expansion of gaming in New York includes protections for our communities and the creation of good jobs, with real benefits. The Hotel Trades Council is excited to endorse Senator Joe Addabbo.”
Though the endorsement is not that surprising, HTC is one of the unions in New York that does not always back Democrats, and Addabbo is running against a relatively moderate Republican, Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich. In 2009, the Peter Ward-led union was key in helping Mayor Michael Bloomberg (an independent running on the GOP line) win re-election, and Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng recently cited HTC’s endorsement as the key to her recent primary congressional election victory in Queens.
Addabbo, who is lagging behind Ulrich in terms of fundraising, is expected to face a tough race this November. Ulrich must first defeat a Republican primary opponent, Juan Reyes, in September.
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