Building trades union, women's economic group back Clinton

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2015 11:57 AM
Building trades union, women's economic group back Clinton

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton has won the endorsements of North America's Building Trades and the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, giving her the public backing of two large organizations as she works to make rebuilding roads and bridges and women's economic issues central to her campaign.

The building trades, an alliance of 14 national and international unions representing 3 million skilled craft professionals, announced its support on the heels of Clinton's plan to spend $275 billion to fix the nation's aging transportation system. The plan includes $25 billion for a national infrastructure bank, which has been blocked by Republicans during President Barack Obama's administration.

"Her infrastructure plan is further proof that she understands that the state of our nation's infrastructure is a bellwether for the health of the American economy and for the economic prospects of American workers," said Sean McGarvey, the organization's president.

Clinton, who was campaigning Thursday in New Hampshire, has largely swept the support of organized labor in her primary campaign against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The unions represent some of the Democratic party's most loyal supporters and the endorsements can bring organizational strength and voter outreach in the primaries and caucuses.

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, represents about 500,000 female business owners, executives and workers. Their support for Clinton marks their first public endorsement of a presidential candidate. Much of the group's work focuses on increasing capital and access to federal contracts for female-owned companies as well as the number of women in leadership positions.

"For our detailed review, one candidate — Hillary Clinton — stands head and shoulders above the rest," said CEO Margot Dorfman, in a statement. "The election of Hillary Clinton as President of the United States will unleash the economic power of women and forge a bold new potential for every woman in America."

The endorsement comes as Clinton holds a female-focused campaign event in New Hampshire, a state where many of the top political positions are held by women.

Clinton has made expanding the economic clout of women with policies like paid family leave and equal pay a central theme of her campaign. Unlike during her 2008 presidential campaign, when Clinton shied away from focusing heavily on her gender, she often touts her potential to make history as the nation's first female president on the campaign trail.