One of the most influential unions in coal country throws their support behind U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.
The Democrat is seeking re-election in what’s shaping up to be a hotly contested race.
Cecil Roberts, the President of the United Mine Workers of America, announces their endorsement of Senator Manchin on Friday.
“You have the complete 100% endorsement of the United Mine Workers. Both here at the state level and the national level,” said Roberts of Manchin
The Union Leader said their support comes from the continued push for miners pensions, something they hope Manchin can secure.
In 2016 the UMWA avoided an endorsement of a Presidential candidate.
However, their support was behind then Congressional Candidate Even Jenkins.
Jenkins is now running for U.S. Senate as a potential direct opponent to Manchin.
Roberts said the union does not have any plans to back a Republican in this race.
Meanwhile, Manchin is grateful for the endorsement, saying, “This is gonna be a tough election. This means more to me than anything that can happen to me as far as my quest to go on.”
As for the possibility of former coal executive Don Blankenship going up against Manchin, the UMWA President said Blankenship would get nothing done in Washington.
There’s no real indication as to who Manchin will face in November, polls in the Republican primary have shown no clear leader between Jenkins, Morrisey, and Blankenship.