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Poor relations with the Fraternal Order of Police could cost Vince Gray part of the labor coalition that swept him into office in 2010, but another union is signing up for another election with the mayor. Hotels workers with Unite Here! Local 25 endorsed Gray last night for the second time in a mayor’s race, with union head John Boardman saying Gray has kept his promise to the union.
“When somebody asks you what mayor has been good to Local 25, what are you going to tell them?” union head John Boardman asked the crowd at the union’s K Street NW office, to shouts of “Gray!”
Chief among those kept promises, according to Boardman, has been Gray’s help ensuring that new hotels in the District will be unionized.
In a speech to the union, Gray recalled Boardman trying to convince him to leave his position as D.C. Council chairman to run for mayor. “I said, ‘Oh boy, I like the job that I have,'” Gray said.
Boardman says the endorsement brings phone bankers and canvassers from the union’s 6,500 D.C.-area members to Gray’s side. “We have boots,” Boardman tells LL. “What you saw is an army here.”
Boardman predicted that the city’s other major unions, which so far haven’t endorsed a mayoral candidate, would likely also work for Gray in the primary.
“From what I’m hearing the momentum is with this mayor,” Boardman says. “We’re not the only one that he’s done good things for.”
Photo by Darrow Montgomery