GOUVERNEUR — The Central Trades and Labor Council endorsed state Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine Wednesday in his bid for re-election over Republican challenger Patricia A. Ritchie.
"This is a huge endorsement," Mr. Aubertine said as he accepted congratulations from well-wishers. "Clearly, having the support of the labor community is a huge asset. I'm gratified that it went the way it did."
The vote was not unanimous, but Mr. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, received the approval of two-thirds of the delegates at the meeting at Mullins Restaurant, President Ronald P. McDougal said.
The council represents more than 24,000 AFL-CIO members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Mrs. Ritchie, the St. Lawrence County clerk, presented herself as coming from a union family.
"I've never forgot where I came from. I'm only as good as my staff is," she said. "I never would have voted to furlough state workers."
Earlier this year, Mr. Aubertine voted to furlough workers in a budget extender designed to keep state government running. His decision was made in consultation with labor leaders, he said.
"It wasn't cavalier," he said. "That decision wasn't made in the dark of night."
The Labor Council made no endorsement in the 47th state Senate race. Maria Pavelock, D-Kirkland, addressed the group. Incumbent Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, did not attend because of a medical reason, but sent a representative to read a statement. Michael J. Hennessy, Sherill, another Democrat interested in the position, did not attend.
In the 122nd Assembly District, the council endorsed Brian S. McGrath, D-Lowville. Republican Kenneth D. Blankenbush, Black River, did not attend.
The council also endorsed Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, Theresa, over Republican challenger David W. Forsythe, Lisbon, and it endorsed Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who is running for re-election. Republican challengers Matthew A. Doheny, Watertown, and Douglas L. Hoffman, Saranac Lake, did not appear.