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Health Care Workers' Union Endorses Pataki

Governor George Pataki
Governor George Pataki

Albany, NY – Governor Pataki's expected bid for a third term received a major endorsement Tuesday from a powerful health care workers' union.

Pataki and the president of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union have issued statements announcing that the union is endorsing the Republican governor.

Dennis Rivera -- president of the 210,000-member labor union that normally backs Democrats -- joined Pataki at a news conference in the Bronx to officially make the endorsement.

The union endorsement is a blow to the two major Democrats seeking to challenge Pataki in the November election -- former federal Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo and state Comptroller H. Carl McCall.

The union endorsement comes after Pataki and the state Legislature approved a multi-billion dollar package in January aimed at raising salaries for health care workers.