The Painters and Allied Trades District Council #36 has had a change of heart. On Tuesday, the labor union announced that it is swapping endorsements in the race for California's new . Instead of supporting , as the union previously announced, it's now backing 53rd District Assemblywoman instead.
“Since we made our initial endorsement in the race, the field of candidates has broadened significantly,” Robert Smith, political director for the Painters and Allied Trades District Council #36, said in a statement. “With the candidacy of Betsy Butler, who is the incumbent in the race, we know we have a leader who takes action, rather than just voting. Betsy Butler has been a champion for working families in the State Legislature, and we therefore have withdrawn our prior endorsement and enthusiastically support her re-election in the 50th District.”
The union—which has 11,000 members—announced its support for Osborn on Sept. 20. However, at that time, Butler had for more than a week.
When the labor union announced its support for Osborn, Smith said: “Torie Osborn is a clear example of the kind of leader that we want in the Assembly — someone who can put forward new ideas for how to solve our state’s toughest problems and get Californians back to work."
As of press time on Tuesday, Smith hadn't replied to Patch's request for additional comment.
Butler welcomed the new endorsement on Tuesday, saying in a statement, “I am proud to receive the support of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #36. We share a commitment to advocating for working Californians and promoting job creation here in California.”
In response to the Painters and Allied Trades District Council #36 changing its endorsement, Osborn campaign spokesperson Dave Jacobson told Patch: “We are proud of the endorsements that we have won in this race, and we understand that the political pressure coming from Sacramento can be significant. Torie was honored to have their support, and looks forward to working with them when she becomes the next Assemblymember for the 50th District.”
Osborn backer Sheila Kuehl, who was the 41st District representative from 1994 to 2000, reached out to Patch after hearing that the union had changed its endorsement.
"Poor painters," she said. "The speaker [Assembly Speaker John Pérez, a Butler supporter] twisted their arm so hard to abandon Torie, I wonder how they can even paint."
A representative for Pérez's office said the speaker would not be commenting on the union changing its endorsement.
Also on Tuesday, Osborn announced a new endorsement of her own, from the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains.
“We need the next Assemblymember from the new 50th District to be someone with deep ties to the grassroots community,” PDSMM President Dorthy Reik said in a statement. “Progressive activism runs deeply in Torie Osborn’s blood. She’s a proven change-maker, who’s actually led movements that have resulted in positive impacts for our society. That’s why we are proud to endorse her for Assembly.”
“As the only grassroots candidate in this race, I consider it an absolute honor to have the backing of the Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains,” Osborn said in a statement. “My campaign is about bringing a fresh approach and new ideas to fix California’s toughest problems, not Sacramento politics as usual. That’s why I’m running a citizen-led and grassroots-energized campaign.”
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This article was updated at 4:56 p.m.