Democrat Erin McClelland, congressional candidate in Pennsylvania’s 12th district, has secured the endorsement of United Steelworkers Local 1196, which represents workers at ATI Allegheny Ludlum. USW 1196 is the oldest USW local in the country, and played a pivotal role in the securing fair compensation, safe working conditions, and benefits for workers during the early days of Western Pennsylvania’s steel industry.
“I grew up in the Alle-Kiski Valley and have friends and family that have worked at Allegheny Ludlum,” McClelland said. “USW 1196 represents the heart of what was once called ‘Death Valley’ due to the many men and women who died fighting for safe working conditions, fair wages, and a reasonable workday.”
In endorsing McClelland, USW 1196 president Fran Arabia explained that their endorsement is driven by McClelland’s desire to solve the real problems facing working families.
“Erin gets it,” Arabia said. “She sees how Washington isn’t working for regular people, but instead of telling you who to blame, she tells you how we can do better. We need more people like that in Congress, and we’re confident Erin McClelland will be a champion for working families.”
The endorsement is the second large labor endorsement of the week, coming just a few days after McClelland received the endorsement of IBEW 29. McClelland will face retired Colonel John Hugya in the May Democratic primary.
McClelland’s full list of endorsements includes State Representative Erin Molchany (Allegheny), Lawrence County Commissioner Steve Craig, Westmoreland County Commissioner Ted Kopas, Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court, Beaver County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Courts Carol Fiorucci, Lawrence County Council members Ralph Chippetta and John Todorich, Westmoreland County Democratic Chairman Dante Bertani, Westmoreland County Democratic Committee Executive Director Jesse Walker, IBEW Local 5, and the Women’s Campaign Fund.
State of Play in PA-12
McClelland has positioned herself as the candidate with the momentum to win the Democratic primary this May. In the month of January alone, McClelland raised more money than her entire previous fundraising quarter (roughly $30K).
Also, sources from across the 12th district report that McClelland’s field team is making great strides and outpacing the efforts of her opponent, John Hugya. While Hugya seems to be strong in Cambria County alone, McClelland has a base of volunteers across the entire the district (Beaver, and parts of Lawrence, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Somerset, and Cambria Counties).
And while Hugya’s campaign message can be distilled as “I’ll be another John Murtha,” McClelland is energizing 12th district Democrats with an issue-based campaign. Hugya’s website doesn’t even have an “issues” section.
When it comes to social media presence, McClelland is light years ahead of Hugya. While McClelland’s Facebook page passed 1,000 likes today, Hugya’s page has been stalled just below 300. In terms of Twitter, Hugya’s account has 15 followers whereas McClelland has surpassed 2,000 (that’s more than incumbent Congressman Keith Rothfus).