Dana Balter has secured her first union endorsement as she aims to unseat U.S. Rep. John Katko in the 24th Congressional District race.
Balter, D-Syracuse, announced Monday that she has been endorsed by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The union, which represents more than 400,000 members, is the largest health care workers union in the country.
"We believe Dana will fight to make sure that everyone has access to qualify affordable health care, and that our communities have the resources necessary to ensure that working families have the tools they need to grow and excel," said Gabrielle Seay, political director of 1199SEIU.
Health care is a major issue in the 24th district race. Balter wants to preserve the Affordable Care Act and shift to a Medicare-for-all system. Katko, R-Camillus, opposes the Affordable Care Act and supports repealing the 2010 health care law.
Balter has criticized Katko for his support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Republicans' tax overhaul that Congress passed last year. The legislation included a provision to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty.
In a statement, Balter said earning 1199SEIU's endorsement is "a tremendous honor."