Local California unions are flocking to Republican Scott Jones’ congressional campaign as retribution against Democratic Rep. Ami Bera’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Jones, the sheriff of Sacramento County, has won the backings of two of the region’s most influential trade unions, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“We are endorsing Scott Jones because of his strong stance against the Trans Pacific Partnership and commitment to protecting American jobs,” Rome Aloise, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, and a registered Democrat, said in a prepared statement.
“With 10,000 good-paying union jobs in California’s vital dairy industry at stake, we need someone in this seat whose word we can count on. We are confident that Scott Jones is the right person for the job.”
The Teamsters support comes a month after Jones announced the endorsement of the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, a labor group representing carpenters, pile drivers, millwrights and other skilled tradespeople.
Bera received major support from unions during his 2014 campaign, collecting nearly $170,000 from building and public sector unions, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Democratic voters have increasingly rebelled against the Trans Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement with a dozen Asian countries, including Japan. Socialist presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has made his opposition to trade deals a centerpiece of his campaign and forced frontrunner Hillary Clinton to tack to the left. Clinton flip-flopped from calling TPP “the gold standard” of free trade to opposing it after Sanders surged in the polls.
Clinton came under similar criticism when she ran against Barack Obama in 2008, as the upstart Illinois senator hammered her for supporting and promoting the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Teamsters were the first major union to endorse Obama over Clinton and have yet to endorse a presidential candidate in 2016.