CHELSEA — The city’s largest building services union endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn Tuesday in the upcoming Democratic mayoral primary.
SEIU 32BJ, which represents about 75,000 workers, including security guards, cleaners, maintenance workers and more, threw its considerable weight behind Quinn after a unanimous vote of the executive board.
“We’re here to tell the world that the best candidate for mayor will be Speaker Chris Quinn,” union president Hector Figueroa said.
“We are enthusiastically and totally united behind the endorsement of Chris,” he added, calling Quinn his “sister.”
Speaking directly to critics who say Quinn is cozy with the city’s developers, Figueroa praised Quinn as an independent fighter for the working class.
“She believes in responsible development like we do,” he said. “We have been watching this race, and we stand to defend the record of the speaker.”
With 32BJ behind her, Quinn will be able to count on a union-led campaign encouraging members to vote for her. Figueroa also said the union plans to train 1,000 “field leaders” who will try to convince voters to support Quinn on Sept. 10.
The union leader declined to say how much 32BJ planned to spend in the campaign.
Clad head-to-toe in 32BJ purple, Quinn enthusiastically accepted the endorsement, pledging to make the city a “better place for working men and women.”
“We’re going to be a team whose sole focus is to make this city better for working men and women in every neighborhood, on every block, in every borough,” Quinn said.
The endorsement splits two of the city’s largest unions in the upcoming election. Last week, the United Federation of Teachers endorsed Bill Thompson in his bid for the mayor’s office.