AFL-CIO backs Bernero in Mich. Dem gov. primary

In the latest sign that labor unions are getting involved early in Democratic primaries this cycle, the Michigan AFL-CIO's executive council Friday endorsed Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D) for governor, the Detroit Free Press reports.

"We found that rank and file members all across Michigan responded to Virgil's message and Virgil's exuberance," said AFL-CIO president Mark Gaffney. "We look forward to building a winning campaign, with candidate Virgil Bernero, and we look forward to victories in both August and November."

In Thursday's paper, my colleague Kevin Bogardus and I wrote about labor's plans to be more active in Democratic primaries this cycle. "We are taking a new tack. This a new day. We are going to play in the primaries," Gerry McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told us.

In Michigan, Bernero's main primary opponent, House Speaker Andy Dillon (D), reportedly "angered union leaders when he proposed requiring all public employees to join a single, statewide health insurance system."

The state's primary vote is Aug. 3.