Culinary Union: Still mulling whether to endorse, and when

5CULINARY ENDORSEMENT_.transfer_frame_2527.png
Culinary Union: Still mulling whether to endorse, and when

Speaking of thinking things over, so, too, is Culinary member Chad Neanover. We first met Chad two months ago, at one of the Culinary's town halls with the candidates.

So, two months later, I asked him a question: does he have a favorite yet?

“I'm still as undecided as I was back then,” he told me today at Culinary headquarters.

Chad is facing a deadline: early voting for the Democratic caucus starts February 15. The caucus is on the 22nd.

His union is facing a decision, too: will it endorse a candidate? If it does, will it do it before our caucus?

RELATED | Joe Biden to Culinary Union: 'No one will be more pro-labor'

That's what I asked union head Geoconda Arguello-Kline.

“We make no decision yet,” she told me.

The Culinary is political muscle: its endorsement means support for a candidate in the form of thousands of union members. It would be a boost to any of the Democrats currently fighting in a field in flux.

The Culinary’s parent union, UNITE HERE, has decided not to endorse in the 2020 contest. In 2008, the Culinary endorsed Barack Obama. In 2016 it made no endorsement.

Arguello-Kline did make clear what issue number one is for the union:

“We want to be clear about we want to have a choice... have a choice to keep our own healthcare,” she says.

The Culinary has bargained for the best health plan around. it is not a fan of Medicare for All, supported by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, which could take the Culinary’s plan away.

And while the union has not endorsed, it is making its position clear.

This flyer we obtained for Culinary members says "We have fought for 85 years to protect our healthcare. Why would we let politicians take it away?" It's a not-so-subtle shot at Sanders and Warren.

The flyer was first reported Friday by the Nevada Independent.

Health care is at the top of Chad Neanover's list.

“The healthcare issue is definitely my number one issue, because with the Culinary healthcare fund, it saved my wife's life at least two times,” Neanover says.

It’s a big issue for him and a big issue for his union, as it weighs picking a favorite in the Democratic race.