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American Federation of Teachers to members: Support Warren, Sanders or Biden in 2020 election

American Federation of Teachers to members: Support Warren, Sanders or Biden in 2020 election
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The nation’s second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), said it will encourage local and state chapters to back Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenMcConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats Mark Cuban: ProPublica 'not being honest' about taxes on wealthy On The Money: Bipartisan Senate group rules out tax hikes on infrastructure | New report reignites push for wealth tax MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Democratic tensions will only get worse as left loses patience McConnell seeks to divide and conquer Democrats Socially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral MORE (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden prepares to confront Putin Ukrainian president thanks G-7 nations for statement of support Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting MORE for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

The announcement is separate from the union’s presidential endorsement, which will be made at a later date, according to a report from Politico.

“The resolution signals to members and leaders that support for any of those three candidates is welcome at this stage of the process before the union makes a national endorsement,” the union said.

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AFT President Randi Weingarten said each of the three candidates has “significant support” among the union’s 1.7 million members, citing their collective records on public education and labor rights.

“It was clear that the time to take this action was now, before all the delegates are chosen and before all of the primaries are over, so that AFT members and leaders can help shape the race and the narrative, ensure our voices are heard, and ensure one of these three candidates emerges as the nominee,” Weingarten said.

Individual AFT locals and state federations have already made endorsements in some cases, with Warren scoring the backing of both the Boston Teachers Union and the Massachusetts chapter of AFT, while the United Teachers Los Angeles, which represents about 35,00 members, has backed Sanders and the Scranton Federation of Teachers, based in Biden’s hometown, has endorsed the former vice president.

The announcement is also seen as a rejection of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a vocal charter school proponent who frequently clashed with New York public school teachers as mayor, comparing them to the National Rifle Association in recently resurfaced remarks.