California Labor Federation Chooses Corbett over Incumbent Swalwell

Rep. Barbara Lee and State Sen. Ellen
Corbett both receive CLF’s backing.
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | In a region boasting some of the strongest labor organizations in the country, the California Labor Federation issued a rebuke Thursday by declining to endorse an incumbent Democratic congressman . The statewide labor group sidestepped Rep. Eric Swalwell and, instead, announced the endorsement of his June primary challenger, State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, also a Democrat.

The news follows a less-than-convincing endorsement of Swalwell by the State Democratic Party last month. Skepticism by veteran party leaders in Alameda County regarding the first-term representative was also seen in February when Swalwell failed to garner enough votes to win the party’s pre-endorsement.

Later, at the Democratic Party state convention, Swalwell eventually won the party’s backing, but Corbett still received a sizable chunk of the votes. Both tallies were uncommon across the state as almost every other incumbent sailed through the endorsement process.

Curiously, Swalwell’s first year in Congress has not been unfriendly to unions, said a member of the Alameda Labor Council earlier this week. Instead, labor is still unsure about Swalwell and deferred to the candidate they know best, they said. Corbett has long received labor’s strong support during her almost two decades in public office. Practically speaking, taking into account her tepid campaign finance performance thus far, Corbett will need all the walking soldiers labor can provide.

In other June races, there were no other surprise endorsements from the California Labor Federation (All Democrats):
CA 11: Mark DeSaulnier
CA 13: Barbara Lee
CA 17: Mike Honda
AD 15: Elizabeth Echols, Tony Thurmond
AD 16: Tim Sbranti
AD 18: Rob Bonta
AD 20: Bill Quirk
AD 25: Kansen Chu
SD 10: Bob Wieckowski