State Senator Leland Yee got an early and powerful leg up in the San Francisco mayoral race last night when one of the city's largest coalition of unions voted "overwhelmingly" to endorse him in the 2012 mayoral race.
It was the first major endorsement in the race -- and with so many candidates still sitting in the wings, it was oddly early for the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council to pick a candidate this soon.
But union leaders said it was a rather easy choice; only five candidates showed up to the council meeting last night to answer questions. Former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who has not officially declared her intention to run, filled out a questionnaire and returned it to the council yesterday.
Michael Theriault, secretary with the Building and Construction Trades Council, told SF Weekly that his members had decided they wanted to do an early endorsement, partly driven by Yee's communication with some members.
Yee, a Democrat who has already raked in more than $164,000 for the race, is also a favorite among the unions. He has close ties with members of the Trades Council, which has 60,000 members from 28 different unions.
"Leland has a lot of friends in the building trades," Theriault said. "I know in our dealing with Asian contractors in San Francisco, he has always encouraged them to work with us."
So now it's payback time.
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