Lentz captures AFL-CIO in 7th CD race

The Delaware County AFL-CIO has endorsed Democratic state Rep. Bryan R. Lentz for Congress in the Seventh District, giving him an early boost in the 2010 race to succeed U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D.,Pa.).

"It was an unprecedented vote because not only was it unanimous, it came early in the process," Obie O'Brien, president of the labor federation in Delco, said in a statement. "We wanted to get behind Brian quickly because we know him, we trust him and have complete confidence that he will continue to fight for the men and women who are the backbone of our economy when he goes to Washington."

The Delaware County AFL-CIO claims the loyalties of 7,000 dues-paying members and their families in the county where about 70 percent of the congressional district's voters reside. The district also includes portions of Mongtomery and Chester counties.

Lentz, who is in his second term representing a predominantly Republican district in Harrisburg, is an Army veteran of the Iraq war who was awarded the Bronze Star for service. He also served on peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and on the Sinai Peninsula.

Sestak is running in the primary for U.S. Senate, challenging incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D.,Pa.).

Earlier this week, former U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan announced his candidacy for the seat as a Republican. Lentz said he will schedule an announcement soon, and has been raising money and building an organization for an expected campaign.