By Jon Queally
Sen. Bernie Sanders continued to rack up major labor endorsements in key early states as the largest teachers union in Nevada on Tuesday announced its endorsement of the 2020 Democratic candidate.
After Sanders received the most support among its approximately 19,000 members, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) announced Sanders would have their support leading up to the state’s Democratic caucus on Feb. 22.
“CCEA is proud to have endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders for President,” the union’s president Vikki Courtney said in a statement. “Senator Sanders has a stellar record of supporting educators. His position on public education issues is second to none. He has always been a champion for educators and working class people. He has our support. He has spent time with our members and has made a firm commitment to advance public education in our country.”
Not only is it the largest educator union in Nevada—representing teachers and other professionals across the southern part of the state, including the Las Vegas area—CCEA is also the largest independent educator union in the entire country.
In addition to a video in which he thanked the union for its endorsedment, Sanders vowed that, if elected, he would “finally give teachers a much-deserved raise, reinvest in public education and create an education system that benefits students no matter their background or socioeconomic status.”
“This is the richest country on Earth,” Sanders tweeted Tuesday morning. “There is no reason why we should not have the best public educational system in the world. Together with CCEA we are going to make that a reality.”
“I thank the Clark County Education Association for their support and look forward to their partnership in transforming our country and defeating the most dangerous president in modern history,” Sanders said.
Sanders is popular with those in the education profession, with teachers among the top profession fueling his small-dollar campaign and multiple teachers union—from Illinois to California—offering their endorsement. But it’s not only teachers unions.
On Sunday, the second largest labor union in New Hampshire—another early voting state in the primary season—issued its endorsement of Sanders.
Bucking the national SEIU office—which has yet to endorse a candidate in the primary—SEA/SEIU Local 1984 cited the “unwavering dedication to New Hampshire’s workers” shown by Sanders as among the reasons it was “thrilled to endorse” his candidacy.
Similar to the teachers in Nevada, Rich Gulla, president of the 10,000-member strong local in New Hampshire, said it was because Sanders has “taken the time to stand with us on multiple occasions” that he received their support.
“We know American workers can count on him,” Gulla said. “We are proud to endorse Sen. Sanders for president.”
Jon Queally is a staff writer with Common Dreams.
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