The Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council announced this weekend its endorsement of incumbent Domenic Sarno over Bud Williams in next month’s mayoral contest.
The labor council—made up of 58 affiliate groups in Hampden County, as well as a few Hampshire County towns—had backed Sarno in his 2007 race against then-Mayor Charlie Ryan (so did the Pioneer Valley Building Trades Council). Since then, Sarno has tussled with some city unions—for instance, after laying off 89 city employees last year, and moving to privatize certain city jobs. Those conflicts, however, apparently were not enough to drive the labor council away from Sarno and to Williams.
The PVCLC also has endorsed Mo Jones, Tommy Ashe, Tim Rooke, Jimmy Ferrera and Jose Tosado for the City Council’s at-large seats; Zaida Luna in Ward 1; Michael Fenton in Ward 2; E. Henry Twiggs in Ward 4; Clodo Concepcion in Ward 5; Amaad Rivera in Ward 6, Mike Rodgers in Ward 7; and Orlando Ramos in Ward 8.
(Are you, too, wondering where all the female candidates are?)
On the School Committee, the labor council backs at-large candidates Antonette Pepe and Denise Hurst, Chris Collins in District 3, and Peter Murphy in District 4.
Williams is not without his own support from organized labor; his campaign finance reports show contributions from officers in the iron workers, millwrights and carpenters’ locals.
As reported on Bill Dusty’s Springfield Intruder earlier this month, Williams also has the backing of perhaps Sarno’s most colorful foe, John Verducci (a.k.a. “the Hot Dog guy”), who this summer squared of with the mayor after Sarno shut down the food cart Verducci ran for years on Worthington Street. Sarno described the matter as a licensing issue and an effort to ensure equity among business owners in the entertainment district; Verducci contended he was shut down because the mayor’s cousin didn’t want his cart set up so close to a new restaurant he’d just opened in the area.
Verducci’s pronouncement, in his endorsement, that he agrees with Williams “on all the issues” raised Dusty’s eyebrows. “Of course, the fact that Verducci doesn’t even live in Springfield—he resides in Agawam—means he doesn’t have to actually live with most of the decisions made at City Hall,” wrote Dusty, who also found Verducci’s description of Williams as an “honest, stand-up guy” to be “a little gaggish.”