KOB Cover ABQ Labor Day Picnic
"I think the labor vote is going to be crucial in the election," said Joel Villareal of AFSCME, the union representing thousands of government workers. "I think there are a lot of issues that are going on currently with this current administration that have really brought up the flags in a lot of these organizations."
Labor unions represent about 50,000 workers in New Mexico – about 6.5 percent of the state's workforce. But they can flex impressive political muscle in a relatively low-turnout city election.
"In recent history, we changed a U.S. Senate seat," said city bus driver Paul Froonjian, an AFSCME member. "We changed it from a Republican seat that Pete Domenici held for over 30 years, and in one election cycle, we turned it into a Democratic seat with Martin Heinrich. Labor was very influential in that."