Rep. Mike Honda donning boxing gloves just
weeks before Election Day in October 2014.
PHOTO/Steven Tavares

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Above all else, Rep. Mike Honda’s ace card is his strong support from labor unions. With a round of local labor endorsements announced Wednesday, Honda is again flexing his union support.

The campaign announced the backing of the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council; Peace Officers Research Association, California School Employees Association; and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521.

While the list may not be terribly well-known to many voters in the 17th Congressional District, it is clearly a reminder of Honda’s traditional backing by many unions, both locally and nationally.

“It is indicative that unions who have supported Congressman Honda in the past are rallying around the only true progressive in the race,” said Vedant Patel, Honda’s communication director. “He has the full support of working families and the unions know that.”

Patel, however, discounted support Democratic challenger Ro Khanna received last January from the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Pacific Southwest Region. Some media reports suggested the union switching support to Khanna was an indicator of overall uncertainty over Honda and his pending House ethics investigation.
“Ro is proud of the incredible support he has received from around the Bay Area from working families, laborers, local leaders and community organizations; including LiUNA, Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and District Attorney, Jeff Rosen,” said Brian Parvizshahi, Khanna’s campaign manager.

“He has been an active voice in protecting the rights of our working families across the district — including standing with Sunnyvale residents during city council hearings by calling to adopt local hire ordinances and prevailing wages.”