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Biden wins endorsement from major union that backed Sanders in 2016

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) won the presidential endorsement of a major transit union that threw its support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 election.

Biden’s White House campaign rolled out the endorsement of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) as he works to consolidate support of white working class voters.

“Joe Biden has been a true champion of working Americans throughout his career,” said ATU International President John A. Costa. “We know he will fight to rebuild the middle class by restoring the rights of Labor, advancing racial justice and equity, and bolstering our economy through unprecedented investment in public services like transit.

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“This is a pivotal moment in U.S. history and our nation needs a leader that will bring back respect, dignity, and civility to our country,” he added. “Joe Biden is the right person for working people and America.”

ATU’s endorsement comes at a critical time: just two days before the Iowa caucuses Monday. 

Polling in the Hawkeye State shows Biden and Sanders running in a neck-and-neck race, with either candidate set up for a victory in the first-in-the-nation caucuses. 

ATU in 2016 backed Sanders with a late endorsement, citing “his long standing fidelity to the issues that are so important to working people.” 

The two 2020 contenders have duked it out for union endorsements, with each candidate racking up support from different groups throughout their campaigns.

Biden earned the support of the International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers and the International Association of Fire Fighters, among other groups.

Sanders has also won endorsements from labor groups, including the United Teachers Los Angeles, National Nurses United, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and National Union of Healthcare Workers.

While ATU ultimately threw its support behind Biden, it indicated it would not do anything to chip into Sanders’s chances of winning the nomination. 

“We appreciate Sen. Sanders,” Costa told Politico. “We don’t want to say anything bad about him. But this is about beating Trump and our members believe Joe is the best one to do it.”

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