Edwards gets nod of Iowa’s SEIU

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (D) on Monday will receive the endorsement of Iowa’s Service Employees International Union, giving his presidential campaign a boost in the key state.

The national SEIU said earlier this month that it would not endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary, however, the Edwards campaign declared that the candidate would receive the support of “a number of SEIU State Councils,” including Iowa’s, on Monday.

Edwards has been courting organized labor in the hope that becoming the top union-backed candidate would allow him to make up for what he lacks in fundraising prowess. The former senator is trailing Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) in the race for the Democratic nomination.

“SEIU is at the forefront of the fight to make work pay and provide economic security to hardworking families,” Edwards said. “I have proudly stood with them on the frontlines of the fight for working Americans for years, and I am honored to earn their support today.”

Unions representing 2 million workers and retirees have backed Edwards, but the Iowa SEIU endorsement could prove especially valuable because members of the group can now make an organized effort to help the campaign turn out caucus goers in Iowa.

In Iowa, we are uniquely positioned to see and hear the candidates, and members are well informed on the issues important to working families,” said Cathy Glasson, president of Iowa SEIU Local 199. “John Edwards earned our support by taking a strong stand on health care and because he offers our members the greatest hope for restoring the American Dream.”