How Do Political Candidates Get a UAW Region 1 Endorsement?

At the UAW, we support candidates for public office who support our members and the values that we share.  Everything that we win at the bargaining table can be taken away at the stroke of a pen by lawmakers, so it is imperative that we elect people to those positions who we can trust to have our backs when we need them.

Many mistakenly believe that our endorsements are simply issued by party lines, but that is not the case.  While it is true that candidates of the Democratic Party more often vote with union values, there have been some Republicans who have earned our endorsements over the years too.  The fact is that we have a process for how we endorse candidates—it’s another example of how we promote democracy in our union.

Here’s how UAW candidate endorsements work.  Leading up to an election, candidates running for all different seats—ranging from governor to community school board—write to UAW Region 1 requesting a formal endorsement.  They send a form detailing their positions on various issues, their reasoning for why they feel they deserve our support, and some notes about their campaign plan that show they are serious about putting in the necessary work to win their election.  Those candidates are then invited to attend a candidate screening at the Region, where they have an opportunity to sit before UAW members to explain their policy positions and answer questions.  The members who attend then make recommendations to the Regional Director about which candidates they believe deserve our UAW endorsement.

This past election cycle an unprecedented number of members showed up to participate in candidate screening.  It was held for 2 days at the Region 1 offices in August of 2018, and 4 different screening rooms were packed full of UAW members ready to drill candidates with tough questions about their stance on various issues.  Members granted endorsements to 134 candidates, of whom 105 successfully won their races.  Make no mistake that those victories would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of countless UAW members and retirees who volunteered their time to knock doors, phone bank, and talk to their friends and neighbors about voting for UAW-endorsed candidates!

We offer congratulations to all of the UAW Region 1 endorsed candidates who successfully won their seats in the November 2018 election.  More importantly, though, we look forward to holding those newly-elected officials accountable to their campaign promises and to legislating in the interest of the working people of Michigan.  Come time for re-election, we will again review their voting records, and we will screen them anew before we grant them our endorsement.

All active and retired members in good standing of Region 1 are welcome and strongly encouraged to attend candidate screenings.  It is an important way for you to get to know the candidates and to ensure that we only put our support behind those who most deserve it.  Region 1 holds candidate screenings before every election cycle.  Check with your local union CAP Committee for information on attending future candidate screenings.