UE-Endorsed Candidates Win in PA, NC

November 8, 2023

State Representative Sara Innamorato, a strong UE ally since she was elected in 2018, won election as Allegheny County Executive last night, making her the most powerful local elected official in Western Pennsylvania. She will be the first woman to hold the post, which oversees a county budget of over $3 billion. Innamorato has pledged to build “a county for all,” with good jobs, strong protections for workers, and housing for all.

Innamorato was endorsed by the UE Eastern Region and Locals 610 and 667. “Sara has been an ally of working people in this area for years now,” said Local 610 President Antwon Gibson, in announcing his local’s endorsement. She approaches politics “like she was one of us,” he told fellow members of the UE General Executive Board in May.

After coming out ahead in a hard-fought primary in May, in which her opponents attacked her as “socialist Sara” and accused her of pursuing a “far-left agenda,” Innamorato faced a tough challenge in the general election. Her Republican opponent raised more than twice as much money as she did — $1.6 million to Innamorato’s $650,000 — and engaged in the same kinds of smear tactics.

UE was the first — and only — union to endorse Innamorato when she and Summer Lee ran for state representative against incumbent establishment Democrats in 2018, and won.

In Durham, North Carolina, a UE-backed candidate won election to the city council. Nate Baker, endorsed by UE Local 150, ran to “empower Durham's communities — workers, tenants, and neighbors — from the bottom up.”

Several other UE states also held elections yesterday. In Virginia, the Democrats protected their majority in the state Senate and regained control of the House of Delegates. While Republicans — who have held the governor’s office since 2021 — had not campaigned on revoking the 2020 legislation establishing collective bargaining, they would have had the ability to do so if they had taken control of the Senate and retained control of the House of Delegates.

In Ohio, voters approved a constitutional amendment to protect the right to abortion, despite the Republican Secretary of State, who opposed the amendment, purging 26,000 voters from the rolls right before the election. In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear, who was backed by most of the state’s labor unions, was re-elected.