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
© Getty

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 WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.) or former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits 'radical left,' news media, China in Independence Day address Kaepernick on July Fourth: 'We reject your celebration of white supremacy' Jaime Harrison seeks to convince Democrats he can take down Lindsey Graham 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.