WASHINGTON – In response to the 2022 midterm elections, American Federation of Government Employees National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement:
“I first want to thank all the active and retired members of AFGE who volunteered their time to help elect AFGE-endorsed candidates in races across the country. This year, more than 370 AFGE volunteers completed more than 1,500 volunteer shifts. Their efforts to reach out to union members through phone banks and neighborhood walks are a critical part of our democratic election process, and I can’t thank them enough for their service. In addition, we sent out more than 415,000 mailers and tens of thousands of texts and emails. Through these combined efforts, AFGE members outpaced national early voting trends in nearly every battleground state ahead of Election Day.
“Together, we helped reelect strong AFGE champions from both parties including Rep. Abagail Spanberger in Virginia, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania, Sen. Patty Murray in Washington, Rep. Don Bacon in Nebraska, and dozens of other strong, pro-worker legislators. AFGE-endorsed candidates also picked up seats in several competitive races, including John Fetterman as Pennsylvania’s next U.S. senator and Wiley Nickel in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District.
“Of the 281 races that AFGE endorsed this year, we are on track to win 235 of those contests – an 83.6% success rate. Several key races remain undecided, and we remain hopeful that candidates who share our vision and goals for the country will be victorious once all the votes are counted.
“This is shaping up to be one of the strongest mid-term performances of any incumbent party in decades. Against the odds, our endorsed candidates achieved an historic margin of victory. Voters also affirmed their support for many of the progressive policies we champion by expanding collective bargaining in Illinois, increasing wages for tipped workers in the District of Columbia, and protecting our rights in every corner of the nation.
“While our endorsed candidates did not win every race, we as a union remain committed to partnering with all lawmakers who value the work federal and D.C. government employees perform in service to the American people every day. Making sure government employees have the resources and support they need to do their jobs shouldn’t be a partisan issue, so I see many opportunities to work with the next Congress to accomplish our mutual objectives.
“Even as we make good-faith efforts to seek common ground, we should not be naïve. Our country remains divided along political lines, and we will likely see increased pressure by some lawmakers to cut already uncompetitive federal pay, downsize already critically understaffed government agencies, sell off essential government programs to corporate profiteers, and put more burden on the backs of working people by degrading government services. We must expand our political power, grow our union, and build strong relationships across party lines to prepare for the fights ahead.
“But before a new Congress is sworn in, there’s still much for our current elected leaders to do. Congress must complete its work on key legislation including passing full-year appropriations for federal agencies before funding expires at midnight Dec. 16, extending full workforce rights and protections to the Transportation Security Administration officers who ensure the safety of the flying public, and passing safeguards to prevent current or future administrations from turning the federal civil service into an at-will workforce beholden to political leaders instead of the constitution and the rule of law.”