SMART Union Delivers First-of-Its-Kind Endorsement to Kari Lake

Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake has received a history-making endorsement from the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) Union Transportation Division of Arizona, marking the first time this union has supported a Republican running for a governor’s seat.

“We are confident that Kari Lake will be a champion for transportation workers and do everything she can to support our members and make Arizona’s rail industry the safest in the nation,” said Scott Jones of the SMART Transportation Division in a statement shared with The Arizona Sun Times. “Railroad safety is not a partisan issue, it’s our livelihood. So no matter who you choose, choose to vote in the 2022 general election.”

The SMART Transportation Division of Arizona represents local conductors, brakemen, yardmen, and engineers on the BNSF Coastlines. An endorsement from the SMART union usually falls into Democrats’ hands, as it has endorsed Democrats Tim Ryan for Ohio Senate, Tim Walz for Minnesota governor, and Joe Biden for president, making it that much more of a surprise that Trump-endorsed Lake received their support.

The Sun Times reached out to Katie Hobbs’ campaign for a reaction to this endorsement but did not receive a response.

In response to the endorsement, Lake said she was honored to make the cut and looked forward to working with SMART as governor.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of the SMART Union Transportation Division, the men and women who make up the crews that make our railroads in Arizona run. Their trust in me and their support for our mission means so much to me. Even more so, as I am told this is the first time they have endorsed a Republican for governor. They, like all Arizonans, are struggling under the Biden economy. Katie Hobbs will only make it worse,” Lake said in a statement emailed to The Sun Times.

In the statement, Lake outlined her plans to help: to provide inflation relief, make Arizona more business-competitive, and secure affordable energy for Arizonans.

“We welcome their support and I look forward to working with them to improve our economy, as well as on critical concerns they have in regard to the health and safety of our rail operations,” Lake said.

The Sun Times reached out to Lake’s campaign for more specifics on her affordable energy plan and how she will make Arizona’s railroad industry safer for employees but did not receive a response prior to publication.

While it is not currently shown on her website, Lake previously spoke about her energy plans at the Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Forum. Lake said she wants to avoid the brownouts seen in California by working with power companies in the state to make Arizona a “powerhouse in power.” She also mentioned putting smaller nuclear energy plants around the state, allowing Arizona to treat its energy as a commodity that can be sold to other states, such as California.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake’s SMART Union Endorsement” by Kari Lake. 




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