Less than 24 hours after news broke of Chris Diebel’s candidacy for the Des Moines City Council’s at-large seat, incumbent Skip Moore’s campaign announced the endorsement of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, “a coalition of 52 local affiliated unions.” Moore was a unionized city employee for many years and had strong backing from organized labor in his successful 2009 campaign.
Diebel is a marketing specialist who worked for several hip downtown Des Moines businesses before becoming a managing partner in LPCA Public Strategies, the public and government relations firm headed by Iowa’s most prominent Democratic consultant, Jeff Link. A former “young professional of the year,” Diebel has volunteered for a wide range of non-profit organizations, including several that will generate support from “upscale” Democrats and Republicans (e.g. Des Moines-Westside Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines Arts Festival).
Local elections tend to have low turnout, and it will be fascinating to see which campaign does a better job of mobilizing supporters: organized labor’s boots on the ground or LPCA’s cutting edge campaign management techniques.
UPDATE: On August 1 the Central Iowa Building & Construction Trades Council became the second large labor group to endorse Moore for re-election. According to a news release, “The council represents 17 local labor unions and over 5,000 skilled union workers in central Iowa.”