03/14/2013 01:06 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2013

Ed Markey Endorsed By SEIU In Massachusetts Senate Race

Rep. Ed Markey has nabbed the backing of another large labor union in his Democratic primary race for Senate against Rep. Stephen Lynch, a former labor leader.

The Massachusetts Service Employees International Union announced its endorsement of Markey Thursday morning citing his record on issues like immigration reform, wages and universal health care. The endorsement is a blow to Lynch, who was a local union president early in his career as an ironworker. The pair are facing off in the April 30 primary for the seat John Kerry gave up to become secretary of state.

“Ed Markey will be a strong advocate for working families in Massachusetts,” Cliff Cohn, chairman of the SEIU Massachusetts State Council, said in a statement. “On immigration reform, health care, the federal budget and other issues important to the 85,000 SEIU members statewide, Ed Markey will stand up for the people of Massachusetts in the Senate.”

Markey previously garnered support from the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 93 in his primary against Lynch. Markey is viewed as the early frontrunner and has gained support from Kerry, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) in the race.

In a statement, Markey indicated he would focus on issues important to working families if elected to the Senate.

Lynch's spokesman, Conor Yunits, downplayed Lynch not receiving the endorsement from SEIU.

"While we would have loved to have SEIU's support, we weren't expecting their endorsement," Yunits said in an email to HuffPost. "Congressman Lynch respects their decision and will continue working on issues that are important to their members."



Women In The U.S. Senate