The union that represents the largest share of state workers has endorsed Democrat Jack Hatch in the 2014 race for governor. Danny Homan is president of AFSCME Council 61, which represents about 40,000 workers from all levels of government in Iowa.
“We believe that Senator Hatch is the best candidate for working men and women in the state of Iowa, to help move this state forward,” Homan told Radio Iowa in a telephone interview.
In late October AFSCME offered its endorsement to another candidate, Tyler Olson, but Olson dropped out of the governor’s race in December for personal reasons.
“When we endorsed Tyler I stated that it was a very difficult decision to pick Tyler over Jack. That was a close call,” Homan said. “…We are now picking who we believe is the best candidate in the current field of candidates for governor.”
The union’s backing of Hatch, a state senator from Des Moines, means AFSCME members will work the phones, knock on doors and try to turn out voters for Hatch.
“To replace a governor who made a bunch of promises when he ran and, quite frankly, he hasn’t kept any of them,” Homan said. “And he has a tendency to violate the Constitution of the State of Iowa which we have proven once and are going to attempt to prove again.”
Homan has had well-publicized disputes with the current Republican governor, Terry Branstad. Homan successfully sued Branstad over the governor’s decision to close Workforce Development offices after legislators had set aside money to keep them open. Homan is now part of a lawsuit challenging Branstad’s decision to close the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.
Teamsters Local 238, which represents 7000 Iowa workers, also endorsed Hatch this afternoon during a joint event with AFSCME in Cedar Rapids.