ARLINGTON, Va. — The United Mine Workers issued a handful of campaign endorsements for upcoming political races in West Virginia.

The union will back U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for reelection. UMWA President Cecil Roberts had high praise for Manchin’s work on legislation to protect the healthcare benefits of the union’s 22,600 members who were stripped of those benefits when some of the largest coal companies filed for bankruptcy. Manchin has also been at the forefront of a fight in Washington to protect the pension benefits of many of those same union miners.

The Union will also back the re-election campaign of Congressman David McKinley (R-WV1). Roberts in a statement also offered high praise to McKinley’s work to preserve healthcare and pension benefits for retirees. He also called McKinley a key ally in protecting and preserving coal mining jobs and on the job safety for miners.

A candidate for the open seat in the third Congressional District is also getting the union’s endorsement. Robert said he looks forward to watching state Senator Richard Ojeda, (D-Logan) in the coming months. He added they expect Ojeda to be a strong backer of any legislation benefiting coal miners and their families.

The union has issued no endorsement so far in race for the Second Congressional District of West Virginia. Incumbent Congressman Alex Mooney is seeking reelection and there are two Democrats vying to face him.