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Major umbrella union backs Healey, in win for her gubernatorial campaign

Attorney General Maura Healey.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The SEIU Massachusetts State Council, one of the state’s largest umbrella unions, on Tuesday, endorsed Maura Healey for governor, adding to a slate of labor groups backing the attorney general over her Democratic opponent, state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz.

As attorney general, Healey is responsible for enforcing labor and worker protection laws, offering a foothold in working with labor leaders over the last seven-plus years.

In stump speeches, she has also touted her family’s own labor background — her mother a nurse, her step-father a teacher and former local union leader — and has strung together endorsements from Teamsters Local 25 and unions representing MBTA employees and other government employees since joining the race in January.

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The SEIU State Council’s backing itself is unusual. Composed of six local unions, the council’s decision to support Healey is the first time in 20 years all six have collectively endorsed a single candidate in an open gubernatorial primary, according to a union official.

“Maura Healey’s commitment to fight for issues like affordable healthcare, housing, and child care is not only aligned with our members’ values — it’s what we need to advance racial and economic justice here in Massachusetts,” Peter MacKinnon, president of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council and SEIU Local 509, said in a statement.

The SEIU Massachusetts State Council collectively represents 115,000 workers, including hospital and nursing home workers, social workers within the Department of Children and Families, and janitors, among others.

Healey has significantly outpaced Chang-Díaz in fundraising and in recent public polling.


Matt Stout can be reached at matt.stout@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattpstout.