Local 49 Business Manager Jason George, left, shakes hands with Jim Schultz.

The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, Minnesota’s largest construction union, endorses Jim Schultz for Minnesota attorney general. (See the formal press release here.)

Local 49 Business Manager Jason George released the following statement about the endorsement:

“We have met with Mr. Schultz and believe he is committed to supporting tradesmen and women, including vigorously enforcing the strong prevailing wage and wage theft laws that protect Minnesota workers. Also of utmost importance, Mr. Schultz will bring a renewed commitment to hold violent criminals accountable and help put an end to the lawlessness that has plagued our state for the last few years. He will also foster respect for our brothers and sisters in law enforcement, not encourage hostility.

“This race is personal for us. Our members were threatened with bodily harm, harassed on the job and off the clock, spit on, and otherwise terrorized by lawbreaking Line 3 protestors during the construction of that project. Today, our members working in both the public and private sector in the Twin Cities do not feel safe on the job in far too many circumstances. This must end.

“The attorney general sets the culture for law enforcement, but instead of focusing on enforcing the law, Attorney General Keith Ellison campaigned for a ballot initiative in Minneapolis that would have radically defunded an already depleted police department. The Attorney General’s Office needs a new voice and a new direction.

“Furthermore, during his time in Congress, Mr. Ellison opposed the building of the St. Croix Crossing bridge, pipelines and mining projects, and he had a terrible overall record on job creation.

“Our union has not endorsed Mr. Ellison in a long time, and we did not endorse his candidacy for attorney general four years ago. We have stayed out of his elections, because no credible, dependable candidate ran against him — until now.

“Jim Schultz is someone we can support, and we look forward to helping him win this race so he can work with other elected officials, county prosecutors and law enforcement to make public safety a priority again in Minnesota.”

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