Ro Khanna speaking at a Democratic club
earlier this year in San Jose.

Ro Khanna may have found an antidote for voters who don’t believe he has the progressive chops of 17th Congressional District incumbent Rep. Mike Honda, at least, partly.

The California Nurses Association (CNA), arguably, the most progressive and certainly aggressive labor union in the state announced Tuesday, they will split their endorsement between Honda and Khanna. CNA fully endorsed Honda during the 2014 election between the same candidates.

“Nurses in the Bay Area endorse Ro Khanna in the primary for the 17th congressional district because he supports Medicare for all and mandatory limits on the number of patients assigned to each registered nurse so that everyone gets optimal health care,” said Malinda Markowiz, RN, co-president of the CNA/National Nurses Union. “Ro’s experience in workforce development, advocating for our communities, and in green technology prepares him well to be our advocate in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.”

Members of the California Nurses Association
protesting in San Leandro in 2012.

Khanna’s campaign strongly highlighted the union’s shift in support as yet another high profile defection or neutral stance by local officials toward Honda in favor of Khanna’s candidacy.

Honda’s campaign maintains the congressman has done more to help nurses during his tenure.

“Congressman Honda has always stood with nurses across California. Last year he was one of the first Members of Congress to actively oppose the sale Daughter’s of Charity Hospitals to Prime Healthcare for what it could do to the wages and pensions of hardworking nurses,” said Vedant Patel, Honda’s political director. “That is why he is proud to have the endorsement and support of National Nurses United (NNU). He is the only candidate in this race with more than a 97 percent rating by NNU.

“Our opponent on the other hand, has never stuck his neck out for nurses or middle class families. Ro Khanna has no issues taking big checks from people who have been openly hostile towards labor unions, nurses and our healthcare system, including individuals who have closed clinics for profit, depriving hundreds of thousands of patients of care.”