Gov. Charlie Crist (I-FL), who left the Republican Party to run for Senate as an independent, picked up the support of two labor unions on Wednesday, an interesting position to be in for someone who was a Republican until just over two months ago.
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The endorsements by the Florida Pipe Trades Council and Corrections USA provide another data point is Crist's apparent effort to overtake Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek among Dem voters, donors and interest groups. Granted, these are relatively smaller unions compared to Meek's labor haul -- he has the AFL-CIO endorsement, and the state teacher's union gave a dual endorsement for each of them. But it does provide further evidence of Crist's gains.
John Lindstrom, international representative for the Pipe Trades union in Florida and the Carolinas, told TPMDC that Crist's record on key issues for the construction business, such as a recent jobs bill, made him the best way to go. However, he also confirmed to us that the state of the race, with Crist appearing to be the stronger candidate to defeat Republican Marco Rubio, was a factor: "We looked at the entire race, we looked at the dynamics, we talked to our members, we talked to the leaders of different unions, and it was unanimous that Crist was the way to go."