Press Release: NUHW members vote to endorse Katie Porter for U.S. Senate
Statewide Vote by Key California Union Delivers Senatorial Endorsement to Rep. Katie Porter
Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers from across California voted to endorse the progressive congresswoman from Orange County following a candidate forum at the union’s annual leadership conference.
NUHW’s executive board voted to provide resources and grassroots support to Porter’s campaign. Rep. Barbara Lee finished second in voting; Rep. Adam Schiff finished third.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers announced today that union members have voted to endorse Rep. Katie Porter, D-Orange County, for U.S. Senate. Nearly 17,000 NUHW members in California were eligible to vote electronically after Reps. Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff and Porter participated in a forum Sunday during the union’s annual Leadership Conference at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.
The endorsement commits NUHW to dedicate its energies and resources to back Porter in the March Primary Election that will determine the two candidates who will run in November for a 6-year term to represent California in the U.S. Senate.
“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, whose members are on the front lines serving patients and fighting for a better California,” Porter said. “My campaign is committed to working with NUHW and all working people to secure a future in which workers are empowered, patients receive quality care and healthcare is guaranteed for everyone in our country.”
The forum marked the first time that all three leading Democratic candidates for Senate were on stage together following the passing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
“We are very appreciative to the candidates who took the time to meet our members and discuss the issues that are of concern to all Californians,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “It was a great forum that focused on key issues without any personal attacks. Afterward, we honored our democratic principles with a transparent endorsement vote, and our members decided to give Katie Porter our support.”
NUHW also invited newly-appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler to participate in the forum or speak separately at the Leadership Conference, but she did not attend.
NUHW Members began voting shortly after the forum ended on Sunday, Oct. 9, and balloting ended Tuesday evening. Members were able to vote either for Porter, Lee or Schiff — or select “no endorsement.”
Porter received 48 percent of votes cast. She was followed by Barbara Lee with 27 percent and Adam Schiff with 21 percent. Five percent of voters selected “No endorsement.”
The NUHW endorsement vote, representing a key constituency of politically-engaged union members, including psychologists, housekeepers, medical technicians, nurses and pharmacists, who work in healthcare facilities from San Diego to Eureka, has a track record for being a bellwether in major state races.
After a spirited forum in 2017, NUHW members delivered the union’s endorsement for governor to then Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Two years later, NUHW members voted to dual endorse Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for president.
This year’s Senate Forum included a three-member panel of reporters from the Los Angeles Times, Politico and Roll Call, the forum’s media sponsor. The moderator was Associated Press U.S. Planning Editor Lisa Matthews, who also asked questions of the candidates and read questions submitted by NUHW members.
The National Union of Healthcare Workers is a democratic, member-led union that represents 17,000 California healthcare workers, including mental health clinicians.