There is no shortage of toss-up congressional contests across the country and pro-worker legislation hangs in the balance. The Teamsters are getting involved in many of these races to make sure candidates with proven track records prevail.
The Teamsters hosted two of those such campaigns in separate virtual town hall forums on the same night – last Thursday. Teamsters Local 886 hosted Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Okla.) and the Missouri Teamsters played host to current State Sen. Jill Schupp (D), who is running for a suburban St. Louis congressional seat. The two are proven pro-union advocates who will stand up for working families.
Horn, a freshman lawmaker, registered one of the most surprising upsets of the 2018 election cycle. Since then, she has been an advocate for the union on issues such as pension reform. That’s why the Teamsters need to do all they can do to make sure she returns to Washington, Local 886 President Tom Ritter told members.
“This election is probably the most important of our lifetime – I just need to say this to you plainly,” he said, adding Horn “continues the fight for what we need in Oklahoma and is a champion of the Teamsters.”
Horn was the first Democrat to win the Oklahoma City-based fifth district in 44 years last election. She said she plans to stay in office by continuing to earn the support of working Oklahomans whose concerns have been overshadowed by the corporate class on Capitol Hill.
“It is something I’ve been fighting against for a long time,” she said. “I’m incredibly grateful to have a seat at the table and to speak up.”
Horn says she will continue to strike a moderate tone in the House because that’s what her constituents want. That’s why she is also prioritizing the passage of legislation calling for strengthening domestic manufacturing, infrastructure investment and a new economic relief package.
“I have no interest in getting everything we want instead of helping people,” she said.
Meanwhile, Missouri House candidate Schupp “supports the rights of every worker to organize into a labor union and fight every day for middle-class Missourians,” said Larry Tinker, president of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Teamsters. Her record as a state legislator in Jefferson City proves it.
Schupp said her working-class roots provide a foundation for how she has lived her life and it is one she shares with union families.
“We know when the deck is stacked against working families, working families get left behind,” she said. “And that’s what happens when we see efforts such as right-to-work-for-less and all of the efforts to limit collective bargaining.”
Schupp said she has worked across party lines to get things done, and that will continue if she if elected to serve in the nation’s capital. That includes protecting pensions for those who have worked decades to create a retirement nest egg.
“We need to make sure that all of your futures are secure,” she said. “We’ve made promises to you, and you have paid into these plans. We have to make sure your retirement is going to be there for you after you put so much into our economy and into your work over the years.”
Building a working majority in Congress that stands up for hardworking Americans isn’t easy. There are tough races that need to be won, and the campaigns of Rep. Horn and state Sen. Schupp are two of them. Local Teamsters are doing all they can to ensure they emerge victorious this November.