Republican congressional candidate Scott Jones’ pledge to support his party’s likely presidential nominee Donald Trump has cost him the endorsement of a key labor ally.
On Saturday, a spokesman for the Teamsters Joint Council 7 confirmed the group has withdrawn its endorsement of Jones, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in suburban Sacramento County’s 7th Congressional District.
Rome Aloise, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, last week sent a letter to Jones stating his group was “extremely disappointed” with Jones’ decision to vote for Trump, whom Aloise said has taken “diametrically” opposite positions to Jones on collective bargaining issues and the need for comprehensive immigration overhaul. Trump continues to divide Republicans on the fall ballot as well as many party elders.
“Understandably, many members of the Republican Party do not like the prospects of either of the Democrat candidates in the race becoming president,” wrote Aloise, himself a registered Democrat. “Yet many Republicans are withholding their support for Trump because of his divisiveness and his scapegoating of immigrants, women, and workers. We cannot stand with anybody who condones such behavior.”
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It’s unclear what kind of money and manpower would have resulted from the endorsement, Jones’ second from among organized labor. Bera, who has drawn criticism from unions for voting to give President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority, has not taken a position on the trade deal. Last week, Bera’s re-election effort suffered another potential blow when his 83-year-old father pleaded guilty to two felony counts of election fraud related to his son’s campaign committee.
Dave Gilliard, Jones’ campaign strategist, said in an email Saturday that the Jones campaign had yet to hear from Joint Council 7, which represents 100,000 workers in dairies, trucking and food processing across Northern California, the Central Valley and Northern Nevada.
“If they did, or do, withdraw formally, this is all about desperation on the part of Democratic leaders in Washington, D.C., over the dire condition Congressman Bera’s re-election campaign is in, more than anything else,” Gilliard said. “The Jones campaign is confident that the vast majority of local teamsters will support the sheriff because they know he is a straight-shooter who will look out for American jobs.”
When Aloise announced the endorsement in March, he cited Jones’ opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, adding that 10,000 good-paying union jobs in California’s dairy industry are at stake.
“We are confident that Scott Jones is the right person for the job,” Aloise said at the time.