DREXEL HILL – UFCW 1776 has thrown their public support behind Vince Rongione (D), a candidate for the 163rd state house seat. This has been a potentially winnable seat for the House Democratic Campaign Committee to take, given performance of other candidates in past cycles, not to mention presidential year and gubernatorial year turnout levels in this part of Delaware County. This year, however, upon Representative Micozzie’s announcement that he’d be retiring, not seeking re-election, the seat became a top priority. The UFCW 1776 endorsement is another in a series of endorsements Rongione has received thus far, and interestingly, this is also one Micozzie (R) receives every term. It joins the Plumbers Local 690 as the second major union to back Rongione after supporting Micozzie through the years.
This is bad news for Upper Darby Councilman Jamie Santora, the presumed predecessor of Representative Nicholas Micozzie. Santora received the endorsement of the representative, and his son, Upper Darby mayor Thomas Micozzie, but this does not seem to be enough reassurance to labor leaders to stay the course with the Republican party majority.
“Vince Rongione clearly stands out as the best choice to replace Micozzie as the next State Representative for the 163rd. We aren’t a partisan organization. We are about supporting the best candidates and policies for our neighborhoods, our workers and our economy,” said Wendell Young, President of UFCW 1776. “We know Vince is an incredibly hard worker. He’s a strong advocate for his community, a strong advocate for our members, and he’ll be a great representative.”
“We’ve historically been Micozzie people but, we know that Vince Rongione is the right man for the future of this area and this economy” said long time UFCW 1776 director of political and legislative action John Meyerson.
“I wouldn’t have had the great opportunities that I grew up with if my Grandfather hadn’t gone to work everyday with a union card in his back pocket,” said Rongione. “Our family was built on the strength of the union and the love and support of our friends and neighbors in Upper Darby and Havertown. To say I am honored to have the support of Local 1776 would be an understatement.”
UFCW 1776 represents over 24,000 members in the region who work in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, government services, manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, and professional offices. 1776 has been an industry leader in areas like, child daycare benefits, physical well-being programs and post-secondary tuition reimbursement benefits.