Two top labor unions said they would hold off on endorsing a candidate in the presidential race this week, a move insiders said signals lukewarmness for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and the possibility of Vice President Joe Biden entering the race.
Politico reported the decision by AFSCME and SEIU, which represent a combined total of about 3.6 million public sector workers. The delay is a setback for the Clinton campaign, which has been actively courting union support in recent months.
“We are determined to take the time necessary to make sure every voice is heard,” an unnamed AFSCME official told Politico.
Biden has said he is weighing whether he has the “emotional energy” to mount a third presidential campaign after his son Beau Biden, a former Delaware attorney general, died of brain cancer in late May.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) backers touted the union decisions as a victory for the campaign, which surged ahead of Clinton in early New Hampshire polling this month.
Clinton, once viewed as the Democrats’ inevitable nominee, has for months been dogged by questions about her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.