California prison guards back Brown

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The powerful labor union that represents state prison guards endorsed Jerry Brown for governor Monday.

The head of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association Mike Jimenez said Brown has the experience and leadership to solve the state’s problems by bringing people together.

In a shot at Brown’s rival Meg Whitman, Jimenez also said the union wanted to back someone who “appreciates and respects the men and women” who make up the state’s workforce. In her campaign ads and speeches Whitman’s criticized public employee unions.

She’s promised to cut the number of state employees and reduce their pensions.

The association represents 30,000 prison guards and parole agents. In the past, it’s spent significantly to help elect the candidates it endorsed. Brown hopes it’ll do the same for him.

Earlier this month, Whitman won the endorsement of the Los Angeles Police Protective League and its political action committee. Leaders of that organization said the former eBay chief understands jobs and budgets, will “fully fund” public safety, and offers a more specific plan for California than Brown.