Union boss discusses plans to back Democrats who have ‘opportunity to win’, says GOP lacks ‘credibility’

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The National Union of Culinary Workers is no stranger to political elections and this year, in Nevada’s primary election, the union local is throwing its support behind Democrats who it says have “an opportunity to win” and an “effort even more important” mid-term. elections.

Speaking to Fox News Digital this week, Ted Pappageorge, the former president and current secretary-treasurer of Culinary Union Local 226, expressed his optimism ahead of the primary election and the impact that Midterm elections will take over the country this fall.

Political pundits see Nevada as a key battleground state as Republicans aim to retake House and Senate majorities. With President Biden’s low approval ratings and an economy mired in inflation, Republicans see an opportunity to tip Nevada into the red.

Describing its campaign platform as the largest union in Nevada, Pappageorge said the group represented more than 60,000 workers, mostly on the Las Vegas Strip, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ted Pappageorge of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 speaks February 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Ted Pappageorge of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 speaks February 13, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“We are conducting major political operations,” Pappageorge said. “In 2020, for example, we knocked on 650,000 doors and we had 350 canvassers on the ground for the general election. … We are doing the most incredible thing now. We have 120 canvassers on the street for the primary election , knocking on 20,000 doors and having tens of thousands of conversations We talk to members and their families in their neighborhoods.

Asked about the issues Americans are facing and the conversations surrounding the election, Pappageorge said most voters canvassers talk to are concerned about the economy, cost of living, job security and health care.

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“These are all elements that are on the negotiating table,” he said. “Our contracts for our 60,000 members expire next year, so our members are very interested. We’re having a lot of conversations… inflation is the first thing.”

Pappageorge said the union backed the Democrats in the primary election because “no one really believes the Republicans have a plan to rein in the oil companies.”

“What’s happening right now is a global price spike from these oil companies that are making record profits,” he said. “The truth is that something has to be done about it.”

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak
(Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Pappageorge also highlighted rising rental costs across America and described price-raising efforts that forced thousands of Americans out of their homes. “Something has to be done about it now,” he said.

“We say we have nothing to accept and the problem is that the Republican strategy is ‘choose me, we will be different,'” Pappageorge said. “The problem is when you talk to the average working family you really have conversations, the truth is the Democrats have an opportunity to win.”

Pappageorge also claimed that Republicans don’t have “credibility when it comes to reining in business owners or reining in these huge oil companies.”

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“But if the Democrats don’t do that or if they’re not aggressive on this issue, some of them are going to have problems in the polls in the fall,” he added.

Pappageorge said the union was working in the primary elections to “support the people who supported us” after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We made sure we got Governor Sisolak approved, we got Senator Catherine Cortez Masto approved…we’re going to move the biggest canvas effort we’ve ever done,” he said. “We’re going to push harder for this midterm than we did in the presidential election two years ago. We’re not going to get the same results…it’s a tough midterm. “

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., faces a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Amy Vilela.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., faces a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Amy Vilela.
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Pappageorge said the union’s main focus in endorsing candidates is their track record and “what people have done”. He insisted that’s one of the reasons they made the decision to support Rep. Dina Titus in her main challenge against Amy Vilela. Pappageorge said Titus is “extremely efficient and a fighter” and promised to “push her” as they would other contestants to take action against price gouging.

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Pappageorge said “the union’s demand on Democrats and the president continues to push back” on price-raising efforts and inflation.

“Nevada Democrats have to be pragmatic, they have to be practical, they have to have common sense about how to get things done,” he said. “We’re a third Republican, we’re a third independent and a third Democrat. What we think is that if we present the solutions to people, you know, people are going to support those people with their votes. Gov. Sisolak , Senator Masto, Congressman Titus — these are the type of Democrats, moderates, who can get something done.”

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