AFSCME Council 5, the largest state employees union, today said it was backing DFL Winona City Council member Debbie White over incumbent state Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, in next year's race.

The union's news release said it appreciated the fact that White, unlike Pelowski, had said she would raise taxes to balance the state's budget. Pelowski didn't screen for the endorsement.

Paul Bissen, chair of AFSCME’s screening committee, said Pelowski treated constituents with "contempt" by ignoring "calls to raise revenue fairly and invest in our community."

The slight to Pelowski from AFSCME isn't a shocker --  in its legislative report card this year, AFSCME gave Pelowski a 43, the lowest grade any House DFLer received.

Pelowski won the 2008 race with 68 percent of the vote and the 2006 race with 70 percent of the vote.


Jennifer Munt, an AFSCME spokeswoman, said the union "infrequently" endorses intra-party challengers against DFL incumbents. She had to go back to the 1984  1990 state Senate race, when now state Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, beat then Sen. Don Moe for the last notable example.

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