Congressman Mark Critz picked up the endorsement Friday of from the United Mine Workers, in what is likely to be a sign of things to come in the intraparty feud in the new 12th congressional district race.
Solidifying labor support is a big part of Critz's strategy in his primary faceoff against fellow Democrat Jason Altmire of McCandless, and the well-organized mine workers will be key in the Cambria/Somerset county portions of the new district (which the Johnstown man already represents). The UMW was usually the first union out of the gate in the late Jack Murtha's reelection bids, so did so again out of respect to Murtha's former aide.
The full statement from the Critz team is after the jump:
Calling him a steadfast friend, the United Mine Workers of America today endorsed Mark Critz for the 12th Congressional District seat. The Mine Workers historically were the first labor union to endorse Congressman John Murtha in each election and they continued the tradition by being the first union do endorse Critz this cycle.
"Mark has been a steadfast friend of the United Mine Workers and all working men and women, and he merits the opportunity to continue that work," Edward Yankovich, the UMW International District 2 vice president told the DC-based Hotline. "We'll do everything we can to help Mark win the primary and then the general election."
Critz says the UMWA shows that protecting and creating jobs is his number one priority and that he is the only candidate in the race who stands up for workers, even when it is politically unpopular.
“I am proud to receive the endorsement of the United Mine Workers of America,” Critz said. “Creating and protecting jobs is my number one priority and that will always remain the case. This endorsement shows that I am the only candidate willing to stand up to the Tea Party and fight for workers regardless of what the polls say.”