Oregon AFSCME becomes the only state organization in the country - other than Illinois AFSCME, in Obama's home state - to break ranks with the national.
Oregon AFSCME's executive director, Ken Allen, described the vote as "overwhelming."
From their statement:
Several members of the Oregon AFSCME Executive Board explained their support for Obama.
"I think he's a uniter, not a divider," said Becky Steward, President of AFSCME Local 88, which represents Multnomah County employees. "I believe his record better reflects how my members feel in Multnomah County."
"I believe Obama has a proven track record of fighting for our members," said Jack Tucker, President of AFSCME Local 2067, which represents City of Salem workers. "I also believe Obama has a much better chance of winning in November against John McCain."
Dal Ollek, President of AFSCME Local 1724 that represents City of Eugene employees, said Obama brings a message of change. "We need more collaboration at the national level," said Ollek. "I believe this vote in support of Obama represents the best choice for the American people."
Oregon AFSCME also notes that they've joined a number of other Oregon labor unions in supporting Obama.
With the Obama endorsement, Oregon AFSCME joins the other biggest unions in Oregon supporting Obama in the Oregon primary, including the Oregon Education Association, the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers and others. Allen said AFSCME plans to mail to its members and participate in other get-out-the-vote activities both for Obama and for Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate.
In January, Oregon's Ken Allen joined six other state AFSCME leaders in strongly condemning the national's independently-funded anti-Obama attack ads.