"A good day for the middle class"

AFSCME Local 1303 President Brian Mitchell and family at a Nov. 3 Get Out the Vote rally in Hartford.

Powered by the grass-roots efforts of union members who made phone calls, knocked on doors, talked to their co-workers and attended Get Out The Vote events, labor-endorsed candidates swept to victory in the Nov. 6 election.

The list starts with President Barack Obama and Chris Murphy -- who withstood Linda McMahon's $47 million effort to buy the 2012 U.S. Senate seat -- and Elizabeth Esty, who defeated the well-funded campaign of Republican Andrew Roraback in the 5th Congressional District.

"This was a victory for the middle class," said Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano. "Our members refused to allow corporations and right-wing billionaires to buy the election and ram through their extremist, anti-worker agenda. I am proud and grateful for everyone's effort."

AFSCME-endorsed candidates John Larson (1st Congressional District), Joe Courtney (2nd), Rosa DeLauro (3rd) and Jim Himes (4th) also were reelected, winning by sizeable margins.

Council 4 members Blair Bertaccini (Local 269), Tom Luk0wicz (Local 1183) and Esma Ajruli (background), Local 714 phone-banking on election eve.

In addition, Council 4-backed candidates prevailed in several General Assembly races, including Dante Bartolomeo (State Senate, 13th District) and Cathy Osten (State Senate, 19th District), both of whom ousted extremist anti-union opponents in Sen. Len Suzio and Rep. Chris Coutu. Council 4 member Joe Aresimowicz (Local 3145) was also reelected to the House of Representatives in the 30th district (Berlin-Southington).

In all, nearly 80% of the candidates we endorsed for federal and state office won their elections. "We don't have the luxury of taking a break from politics," Luciano cautioned. "The same people who tried to buy their way into power want to cut Medicare and Social Security. They want tax cuts only for the wealthiest citizens. They want to cut aid to cities and towns. They want to destroy our health care and our pensions.

"We will work with our newly elected officials to stop that from happening."