Edwards under fire from labor for Delaney endorsement

A major statewide union has threatened to reassess its support of Rep. Donna F. Edwards after the Prince George's County Democrat endorsed John Delaney in Maryland's 6th District race on Thursday instead of the candidate backed by Maryland's largest labor groups, state Sen. Rob Garagiola.

"She was well aware of who the Maryland state and District of Columbia AFL-CIO's endorsed candidate is," Fred D. Mason Jr., president of the state AFL-CIO, wrote in a memo that was blasted to local unions on Thursday. "She had been asked to endorse Rob Garagiola, and barring that to endorse no one." 

Mason wrote that he was "greatly disappointed" by Edwards' move and that it would "certainly be considered in our future relationships."

The AFL-CIO and other unions supported Edwards early on this election cycle, at a time when many thought she would be challenged by former Prince George's County prosecutor Glenn Ivey. Union leaders and others believe the support forced Ivey to drop out, clearing a path for Edwards to win reelection.

A spokesman for Edwards declined to comment on the memo. Mason said Friday that the memo is not an indication that the AFL-CIO is necessarily pulling its support of Edwards, just that the action would be considered during its next round of endorsements.

The Democratic primary in the 6th District is easily the state's most competitive race. The seat is currently held by 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, who is seeking reelection.