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Oregon: State AFL-CIO Endorses Merkley in Senate Race

State Speaker Jeff Merkley has picked up another key union endorsement as he seeks to maintain his advantage in the Democratic Senate primary and build momentum for a likely general election challenge of Sen. Gordon Smith (R).

Merkley, who is favored to defeat attorney Steve Novick in the primary, was endorsed this week by the Oregon AFL-CIO, the state’s largest labor union coalition. The state federation has 145,000 members.

“Jeff Merkley is a hero for all Oregonians who work to support their families,” Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain said in a statement.

Last month Merkley received the backing of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75, a union of 22,000 government employees in the Beaver State.

— David M. Drucker

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