The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Board of Directors has voted to endorse Colin Van Ostern for governor, based on the recommendation of the organization’s Political Education Committee.
John Hattan, the director of the Political Education Committee, said Van Ostern stood out for his work on the Executive Council and his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help solve problems for Granite Staters.
“When working people have faced challenges over the last two terms, Colin’s been right there to help find solutions,” Hattan said. “The Executive Council serves an important role for our state and state employees, and he’s always been responsive to our members’ concerns. He’s a strong advocate and leader, and we’re confident that under his leadership, we’ll continue to move New Hampshire forward.”
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla agreed that Van Ostern is the right choice to lead New Hampshire.
“There is no race this fall that will have a bigger impact on the union’s membership than this one,” Gulla said. “The next governor will set spending priorities for the next two years, which will fund agencies, employment contracts, retirees’ healthcare and protect our pensions. We need a leader who understands these priorities and will fight for them, and I believe that next governor is Colin Van Ostern.”
Van Ostern said he was proud to receive the backing of the 10,000-member organization.
“From the state workers who have successfully helped extend health coverage to nearly 50,000 New Hampshire citizens since we expanded Medicaid two years ago, to the road crews who keep our highways safe and improve our infrastructure, New Hampshire’s state employees are on the front lines of keeping our state moving forward,” Van Ostern said . “I’m proud of the work they do for the people of New Hampshire and I look forward to working together to strengthen the customer service we offer New Hampshire citizens and our visitors — and to build an even stronger economy where everyone has the chance to succeed, not just those at the top.”
The political endorsement policy of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 requires the Political Education Committee to vet and vote on endorsements in national, state, and local elections. The committee met individually with major gubernatorial candidates and also held Republican and Democratic candidates’ forums. The committee’s recommendation then went before the Board of Directors for final approval. The organization does not base its endorsements on political party affiliation. It endorses candidates who support working people – the fiber of our nation.
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 represents about 11,500 public and private-sector employees across the Granite State. First formed in 1940 as a social organization, the SEA won passage of New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Law in 1975. Since then, the union has negotiated hundreds of contracts with state, county, municipal and private-sector employers. The SEA affiliated with the Service Employees’ International Union in 1984. With two million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas.