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Despite major unions backing the U.S. Senate campaign of insurgent Democrat Andrew Romanoff, Michael Bennet made the politically difficult decision to be something of a champion for organized labor in a vote earlier this week, leaving himself vulnerable to criticism from Republicans.
Bennet, who was appointed to Colorado’s junior senator seat by Governor Bill Ritter, voted to approve the Obama administration’s nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, reports Politico.
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Two other appointed senators, Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat, and Ben Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, broke with their party and voted against appointing Craig Becker, whom Republicans say is too supportive of union interests.
Republicans, including former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, who is also running for Senate, were quick to take note of Bennet’s vote. He supports “empowering union bosses to cripple our economy,” Norton claims. Bennet’s office dismisses the criticism, saying Becker is qualified for the job.
Colorado has a lower percentage of unionized workers than the national average, but two key labor unions in Colorado—the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Colorado Council of Teamsters—are backing Romanoff, notes The Huffington Post. The Colorado Springs Independent took a closer look at the two Democratic Senate candidates during a recent forum in the Springs.