Adkins, Beshear and Edelen collect union endorsements

UPDATE: Paducah Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 184 has endorsed Beshear, according to Business Manager Kyle Henderson. The Jefferson County Teacher’s Association endorsed Edelen, according to the campaign‘s Daniel Hurt. Laborers’ Local 576 in Louisville and Covington Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 38 endorsed Adkins, according to the campaign‘s Courtney Daniel.

BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

The Kentucky State AFL-CIO's neutrality stance in the May 21 primary election opened the door for union locals to endorse candidates on their own.

The three main Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls--House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, Attorney Gen. Andy Beshear and former state auditor Adam Edelen--have collected a half dozen endorsements so far.

But Republican state Rep. Robert Goforth, who is challenging Gov. Matt Bevin in the GOP primary, is also eligible for endorsement. 

Last month, the state AFL-CIO Executive Board, acting as the state COPE Committee, voted "no recommendation" For Adkins, Beshear, Edelen and Geoff Young, who rounds out the Democratic field, plus Goforth.

"No recommendation" means that union locals can get behind candidates of their choice as long as those candidates don't receive a "no endorsement." 

Bevin and his two other primary challengers, Ike Lawrence and William Woods, received a "no endorsement."

On board with Adkins are Catlettsburg-based Laborers Local 1445, Tri-State Building and Construction Trades Council, Ashland; United Steelworkers Local 14581, Elkhorn City, and the United Mine Workers of America, according to Courtney Daniel of the Adkins campaign.

Teamsters Local 783, headquartered in Louisville, is backing Beshear, said the campaign's Eric Hyers.

Also in Louisville, AFSCME Local 4011's nod has gone to Edelen, according to Matt Erwin of the Edelen campaign.

The COPE committee made only one endorsement--for former House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for attorney genera, a post he held in 2004-2008.

The COPE committee will meet again after the primary to endorse candidates for the general election, which is Nov. 5.