The AFT-Maryland Endorsement Process

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  • The AFT-Maryland, and each of its affiliated locals, are dues-paying members of the AFL-CIO. Fifty-five labor unions nationwide, including AFT, AFSCME, UAW, the Electrical Workers Union, the Firefighters Union, and scores of others, form the AFL-CIO, representing 12.5 million working people nationwide. The AFT-Maryland participates in and follows the AFL-CIO endorsement process.
  • In the summer before an election, the AFT-Maryland and the AFL-CIO, based on input from its membership, composes a candidate questionnaire to be distributed to candidates for each elected office. Beginning in the fall of the year before the election, through February and March, the AFL-CIO reviews these questionnaires and schedules candidate interviews.
  • At the conclusion of these interviews, the AFL-CIO delegate assembly votes on an endorsement. In order to win an endorsement at the AFL-CIO, candidates need to secure 2/3rds of the AFL-CIO delegation vote. Candidates need not interview at the AFL-CIO for an endorsement, but they must submit a written response to the questionnaire in order to be considered.
  • On any given race, the AFL-CIO can declare an endorsement, declare "no recommendation" (i.e. no preferred candidate, or no candidate reaching the 2/3rds threshold), or declare "no endorsement" (i.e. none of the candidates should be supported).
  • In the races where the AFL-CIO declares "no recommendation," each AFL-CIO union can decide on the candidate of their choice. In these instances, the process described above (2/3rds of a vote at the AFT-Maryland executive board, issuing an endorsement, a "no recommendation," or a "no endorsement") repeats itself down to the local union level.
  • Approximately 6-8 weeks before the primaries, the AFT-Maryland sends a list of endorsed candidates to its membership and begins Get Out the Vote efforts.
  • The process repeats itself for the general election. Endorsed candidates who win their primary election are automatically endorsed for the general election.

For questions about The AFT-Maryland Endorsement Process, contact AFT-Maryland Political Coordinator, Todd Reynolds, at 443-320-4719 or at treynolds@aftmd.org.