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AFGE Endorses Creigh Deeds for Va. Governor

By Ed O'Keefe

State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Va.) gestures as he accepts the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor on June 9, 2009. (Photo by AP)

The American Federation of Government Employees has endorsed Democrat R. Creigh Deeds for Virginia governor, providing the state senator with a reliable stable of political foot soldiers in his race against Republican Robert F. McDonnell. The federal workers union -- the nation's largest -- represents 30,000 members in the Old Dominion, concentrated mostly in the voter-rich Northern Virginia region.

"Senator Deeds has proven himself to be a friend of Virginia’s working families”, AFGE national vice presidents Joe Flynn and Dwight Bowman said in a statement. “Whether it has been fighting to create good jobs or writing some of the toughest legislation to keep our families and our environment safe and secure, Senator Deeds has shown that he can build the consensus necessary to keep Virginia moving forward."

Matching words with actions, the union promises a significant voter mobilization effort as election day nears.

"We do not endorse unless we also put our folks' feet on the street," said AFGE Political Director Bob Nicklas.

Though most of the union's members live in Northern Virginia, Nicklas said it also represents several Defense Department employees in the Tidewater and Richmond areas, Veterans Affairs hospital workers in Richmond and Salem, and federal prison guards in Petersburg.

AFGE never seriously considered endorsing McDonnell: "He's going to move Virginia backwards and we need to move Virginia forward," Nicklas said. That should come as no surprise, as the union has backed all major statewide Democratic candidates in recent elections, including Chuck Robb, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and James Webb.

Track the Virginia governor's race -- one of only two gubernatorial contests in the nation this year -- at Race to Richmond and The Fix.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | June 11, 2009; 4:02 PM ET
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"What a shock" he says sarcastically. Most unions are a joke, politically, when they think people will take them as an organization that looks at a two party system. They are glued in all places to the Democrats. And the Democrats know this as they pursue legislation.

Posted by: terencekahn | June 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it great to have a government that also poses as a union to vote and stomp for the democrat? I have no quarrel with the concept of a union that works for the worker (employee) and is part of the company that the worker is employed with. I have a great deal of quarrel with these unions that are hugh, national, political bodies that do a lot for democrats but not much for America or the worker that funds these unions whether they want to or not.

Posted by: awunsch | June 12, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

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