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Democrats sign first major union endorsements

Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Christopher Dodd were the first to receive enforcements by the unions.

Democrats sign first major union endorsements New York Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the endorsement of the United Transportation Union, while another Democrat running for president, Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd, was endorsed by the International Association of Fire Fighters. This was the first major endorsement for the Democrats by a national union and will boost up their bids for the party's presidential nominations. Both the United Transportation Union and the International Association of Fire Fighters are affiliates of the AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor federation, which couldn't reach an agreement among its 55 members to endorse a single candidate and the unions said they would move forward on their own.

 The United Transportation Union (UTU), which endorsed Hillary Clinton today, has over 125,000 members from the railroad, bus and mass transit workers and retirees. It is the largest operating railroad union in North America, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. A statement on the UTU's website from its International President Paul C. Thompson read: “It is a high honor and a distinct privilege to be the first labor union in making this endorsement. The UTU has a long history of picking winners early. Hillary will be a president that America’s working families can count on."

 The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), which endorsed Sen. Christopher Dodd, is even bigger union, boosting over 280,000 members in 3,100 locals and represent professional firefighters in the U.S. and Canada, with main office located in Washington D.C. "Our great country has been without sound presidential leadership for too long to keep us safe and secure. This time around - experience matters. No candidate has more experience, and no candidate offers leadership on issues important to fire fighters and the quality of life for their families than Chris Dodd," was posted on the IAFF website. Writing the FIRE and SAFER Acts are among the main congressional achievements of Sen. Dodd, which led to the endorsement by the firefighters.

 While the Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd enjoyed their first major labor union endorsements, this was a blow to fellow Democrat former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. The former Senator is building his presidential bid around the working family and the fact the first labor endorsements went to Clinton and Dodd could be a sign that Edwards' platform is less convincing that he hoped for.

The oddsmakers immediately reflected on the new developments and the odds on the presidential candidates were updated. Sen. Christopher Dodd however remains an underdog to win the Democratic nomination with odds 40/1, while Sen. Hillary Clinton is the unchallenged favorite with odds 4/11 for Democratic nomination, as well as 2/1 to become the next President of the United States, as posted by the bookmaker Bodog Sports.

Published on 08/29/2007

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