The American Federation of Teachers announced Saturday that they would be endorsing Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, the first national union to announce an endorsement this election.
The endorsement was not a surprise, considering the the American Federation of Teachers threw their support to her in 2008, when she lost in the primaries to Barack Obama.
Clinton did win the vote by an impressive amount, with members of the American Federation of Teachers choosing her by a three-to-one margin.
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers president, is a known long-time ally of Hillary Clinton and made her confidence in Clinton as a candidate clear.
“In vision, in experience and in leadership, Hillary Clinton is the champion working families need in the White House. Hillary Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members, and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities. That fight defines her campaign and her career.”
Weingarten is also on the board of super PAC Priorities USA Action, which is supporting Hillary Clinton’s run for president as well.
Hillary Clinton said she was honored to receive the endorsement.
“For nearly a century, the American Federation of Teachers has worked to expand opportunity for the people and communities they serve. I’m honored to have the support of AFT’s members and leaders, and proud to stand with them to unleash the potential of every American.”
The main benefit of an endorsement from a labor union is that it provides candidates with extra people to do grassroots campaigning work.
The American Federation of Teachers has 1.6 million members and is comprised of teachers, nurses, and college and university employees.
By election day in November, 2016, members of the American Federation of Teachers are expected to have made 1 million phone calls and knocked on 500,000 doors in support.
Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were also invited to speak with the executive council of the American Federation of Teachers.
Invitations to fill out a questionnaire were extended to all potential and announced candidates for the 2016 election by The American Federation of Teachers. Those who completed the questionnaire were then invited to meet with the council.
No candidates from the Republican Party responded to the invitation from the American Federation of Teachers.
The National Education Association, which almost doubles the size of the American Federation of Teachers with nearly 3 million members, has not made a decision about an endorsement, and is not expected to make an announcement until the fall.
In 2008, the National Education Association did not endorse either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
[Photo by David Greedy / Getty Images]