Trades council endorses commissioner Stephens

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 6, 2004

The Tri-State Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed one incumbent Lawrence County Commissioner and it is likely the other incumbent commissioner will also get the union's approval in the near future.

The union has officially endorsed incumbent Jason Stephens, who is a Republican and is running against former county commissioner Mark Malone. Trades council business manager Steve Burton said it is not unusual that the union has endorsed a Republican.

"We cross party lines," Burton said. "We endorse people who believe in people working and Stephens supports working people and we've noted that."

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Burton said that the decision to endorse Stephens was unanimous, citing the work he and his fellow commissioners have done to assure local jobs.

"I'm really honored and pleased, obviously, with the endorsement," Stephens said. "I worked hard at getting Duke here and other things, too. We had 1,400 construction jobs there when it was being built. … I'm excited about this. I think it shows I have tried to serve all of the people of Lawrence County and hopefully continue to be successful with Calpine and other projects."

Burton said the union will probably endorse incumbent Lawrence County Commissioner George Patterson, a Democrat, in the near future.

Patterson and Stephens are each running for two seats up for grabs in the November general election. Patterson faces opposition from Republican Kenneth Ater.