Sampson Opponent Smitherman Adds Two Labor Endorsements

Sampson Opponent Smitherman Adds Two Labor Endorsements

Senate Candidate Smitherman Gets UFCW, RWDSU Endorsements
June 6, 2014

Dell Smitherman, the Democratic primary opponent to state Sen. John Sampson, won the endorsement of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), giving him a solid coalition of labor support as the summer campaign season begins to heat up. 

Smitherman, a former political coordinator for 1199 SEIU, has already won the backing of CWA District 1, UAW Region 9A, as well as the Working Families Party. Sampson, the former Senate majority leader, is under indictment in part for allegedly embezzling money from the sale of homes that had been foreclosed upon to finance his unsuccessful 2005 campaign for district attorney. He has been kicked out of the Senate Democratic conference, and has fallen on hard times in the wake of the corruption charges last year. His trial is unlikely to begin before the primary.

“As a longtime organizer who grew up in working-class Brooklyn, Dell is one of us and puts working families at the heart of his work," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, in a statement. "Whether it’s fighting for better healthcare access, higher wages for car wash workers, or quality schools in our neighborhoods, Dell has the right ideas and the passion we need to move our state forward. We’re proud to stand with Dell, and look forward to doing everything in our power to ensure a win on Election Day.”

Bruce Both, president of UFCW Local 1500, stated that it was an easy choice to get behind a candidate with roots in organized labor.  

“Dell Smitherman is a passionate and skilled fighter for the working class that has the experience to transform and organize his district as a Senator. Whether it will be fighting to hold Walmart accountable for their irresponsible business practices or aggressively attacking employers that are stealing wages from their workers, our members are more than confident that Dell Smitherman will stand by their side,” Both concluded.

Other Sampson opponents include Sean Henry and Leon Miles.  

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Dell Smitherman is a political coordinator for 1199 SEIU. Smitherman no longer holds that position with the union. 

Nick Powell