WVa House Speaker Rick Thompson got two key union endorsements this week, making him the clear rival of acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in the state's May 14 Democratic primary.
Here's the Daily Mail on the endorsements from two key teacher's unions. The full field also includes Senate President Jeff Kessler, state Treasurer John Perdue and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. Betty Ireland is the leading Republican name.
Counting his strong support among industrial unions, Thompson is building a coalition that has the potential to rival Tomblin's ground game in a state where labor still has the ability to move people to the polls.
"Tomblin now faces the potential of Thompson operating with a base roughly equal to his," said one longtime operative tracking the race.
The endorsements are also a setback for State Treasurer John Perdue, who has the backing of the Teamsters and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, who is considered the most liberal candidate in the field.
"This is going to become a two-man race with Natalie dragging a full tier below and the also-rans non-factors," said the operative on the condition of anonymity. "It is a race to 40 between Tomblin and Thompson. Now they fight over the mushy middle."