AFSCME Council 13 Endorses Onorato/Conklin and Sestak

Jul 13, 2010, 14:44 ET from AFSCME Council 13

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On July 12, 2010, Council 13 AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) announced its endorsement of Dan Onorato for Governor, Scott Conklin for Lieutenant Governor, and Joe Sestak for U.S. Senate.

Council 13's Statewide Steering Committee, a panel of Council 13 members who vote on the endorsement of state candidates, voted unanimously to endorse all three candidates.  Onorato told the committee, "I am the only candidate in this race who has experience running a government and balancing the budget, and I am willing and able to make tough decisions and support common­sense policies like a competitive Marcellus shale severance tax."  He also said reform should start with the legislators and their $200 million surplus.

"We have the most expensive legislature in the United States," he said.  "We need to get our own fiscal house in order before we ask others to sacrifice."

"This gubernatorial race is crucial to our members," said AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David R. Fillman.  "We need a governor with the guts to take on big business and big waste.  Onorato is that governor."

Rep. Scott Conklin built a good reputation with labor in Centre County.

"Scott has been a good friend to us," said Domenic Sgro, AFSCME District Council 83 Director.  "He practices an open door policy and I could always count on him to do the right thing for our members.  I'm confident he'll carry that on as Lieutenant Governor."

When Congressman Joe Sestak was asked how he intends to fight back against Pat Toomey's ads framing him as a liberal, he said he wasn't concerned about labels.  "I'm not a liberal and I'm not a conservative," he said.  "I'm a pragmatist."  The committee agreed with Sestak in his analogy of Toomey.  "If you liked Rick Santorum, you'll love Pat Toomey," he said.

AFSCME Council 13 represents more than 65,000 employees in the Commonwealth (45,000 state employees and 21,000 in Pennsylvania's counties, municipalities, cities, school districts, authorities, non­profits, and health care facilities).