The American Federation of Labor's statewide political action committee Thursday endorsed Assemblyman Richard Robinson (D-Garden Grove) over Superior Court Judge David O. Carter in the Democratic primary this June for the 38th Congressional District.
"What we have here is a known versus an unknown," said Robinson supporter Mary Yunt, AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer for Orange County who attended the union's convention in San Francisco. She called the veteran legislator a longtime "friend to labor."
The vote gives Robinson access to both money and campaign workers from AFL-CIO unions throughout the state.
However, there is no sanction if unions fail to heed the endorsement. And at least six Orange County locals are still planning to support Carter, Carter aide George Urch said.
Arguing that Carter, a former homicide prosecutor, has a better chance of beating conservative Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove) in November than Robinson, members of the unions for plumbers, sheet metal workers, electrical workers, carpenters and laborers will be walking precincts, running phone banks and opening their halls to Carter, Urch said.
Thursday afternoon, a secretary at Sheet Metal Workers Local 420 in Garden Grove was stuffing a Carter-for-Congress card into a mailing to its 1,400 members.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time we go along with everything" that the statewide Committee on Political Education votes on, said business manager John Watson. Though the union's view could change if Robinson wins the primary, "We feel Dave Carter is the man for the job," Watson said.