In a nice boost to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King's credibility, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) — which boasts more than 20,000 members in Florida — endorsed the Winter Park businessman over Andrew Gillum, Gwen Graham, and Philip Levine.
"District 5 of the American Federation of Government Employees, its thousands of members across Florida and I are proud to endorse Chris King for governor because working families need fresh ideas and new leadership in the governor's office," AFGE National Vice President Everett Kelley said in a statement. "We are supporting Chris King's campaign because the old way of thinking hasn't worked for Florida families and Chris will offer a bold, progressive vision for Florida's working people. Chris King will be our partner in Tallahassee and build a fair economy that lifts up every Floridian and leaves no one behind."
While endorsements often don't mean much, institutional support behind King helps show donors he remains a serious candidate despite being the often overlooked and least known Democrat running.
The AFGE has had a high profile in Orlando area lately as the airport there moved to replace unionized TSA screeners with private workers. Representing federal employees, the union tends to pay closest attention to members of congress, making it a bit surprising former U.S. Rep Graham did not win the nod.
"I am honored to have earned the support of our state's federal workers in my campaign to bring bold, progressive leadership to the governor's office," King said. "I welcome AFGE District 5 and the grassroots strength of their 20,000 members in Florida as part of my campaign to build a fair economy for our state. Florida families need a new voice who will take on business as usual in Tallahassee––that's why I'll address Florida's affordable living crisis by fighting for Medicaid expansion and free tuition at community colleges and public trade schools."