U.S. Sen. Gary Peters endorsed by 20 labor groups on Labor Day

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, the Bloomfield Township Democrat seeking re-election this fall, has scored the endorsements of 20 labor organizations, his campaign announced on Labor Day.

While the groups' support of Peters is somewhat expected, their endorsements are a sign of the incumbent's potential strength with unions in Michigan. Among those that have endorsed Peters are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and the United Auto Workers.

"I grew up in a union household, my father was a public school teacher and my mom was a union steward, and my parents instilled in me the importance of hard work, determination and integrity," Peters said. "Those are the values I’ve carried with me every day fighting for Michigan in the U.S. Senate."

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters talks to reporters during a campaign stop at Lansing Brewing Company on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The visit was the last stop on his statewide motorcycle tour.

Republican John James, a businessman from Farmington Hills, is running against Peters. The race is drawing national attention as Peters is one of two Democratic senators up for re-election in states President Donald Trump won in 2016.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed James in July. In 2018, James lost to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow , D-Lansing, by a smaller-than-expected margin of 6.5 percentage points.

Other labor groups endorsing Peters, according to Monday's announcement, included the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council, the Michigan Nurses Association, the American Federation of Teachers Michigan, Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan and the Michigan AFL-CIO.

"Gary Peters understands the importance of labor and resiliency of working people, and as our senator has always been a leader in fighting to create better paying jobs, boost manufacturing and expand apprenticeship opportunities throughout Michigan," said Ron Bieber, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO.

Many of the groups have endorsed Peters in previous campaigns or backed Stabenow in her campaign against James in 2018.

Michigan voters first elected Peters, a former U.S. House member, to the Senate in 2014 when he defeated Republican Terri Lynn Land by 13 percentage points. On Nov. 3, he is seeking a second six-year term.