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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 26, 2013 1:15 pm

Unions to spend heavily on state, local races

By SAM HANANELAssociated Press

The nation's largest labor federation plans to shift more of its political resources into state and local campaigns next year.

AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer says mid-term election spending is expected to be at the same or greater level as the 2010 campaign cycle, when the AFL-CIO spent more than $53 million on federal and state races.

Top targets for defeat include Republican governors in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, where unions have fought efforts to curb collective bargaining rights.

Podhorzer says the focus on state campaigns doesn't mean labor leaders are ignoring the mid-term congressional races. He says labor's political efforts will also boost Democrats in key congressional districts.

The federation represents 57 unions and about 12 million members.