IBEW Local 41 Union Member Chuck Gilbert Running Against Incumbent Robin Schimminger For 140th District New York State Assembly Seat
Gilbert Knows What It Means To Be A Working Person: “I Know What It’s Like To Live Paycheck To Paycheck. I Started Out Making Minimum Wage And Worked My Way Up To Being A Foreman Of A Local Electrical Company”
(TONAWANDA) – Chuck Gilbert, a Union Member Represented by IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 41, is seeking election to the New York State Assembly and faces Incumbent Robin Schimminger in the 140th District Race.
Why is Gilbert, who is employed as a Foreman with MJM Electric in Buffalo, running?
“I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck,” Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com. “I started out making Minimum Wage and worked my way up to being a Foreman of a local Electrical Company. I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s held a Private-Sector Job and I’m the ‘only’ Candidate that’s ‘walked a mile in your (Working People’s) shoes.’"
Interestingly enough, Gilbert – who has the endorsement of the Working Families Party, as well as endorsements from the Communications Workers of American, his own Union/IBEW Local 41, and the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council, whose 18 Member Unions combine to represent more than 10,000 Workers – is running on the Republican line.
So how exactly does a 42-year-old Union Member run as a Republican?
It seems several years ago, Gilbert ran against an Incumbent Democrat for City of Tonawanda Councilman, on the Republican Line, and won election to a two-year term.
“It’s not about the (Political) Party, it’s about the issues,” Gilbert told WNYLaborToday.com. “I wear my Union Pin on my lapel when I’m out in public. It’s who I am. I stand up for Labor Rights. I stand up for Project Labor Agreements. I stand up for Working Families. I don’t hide it. And, in fact, of the last thousand people I’ve talked to during this campaign, only one has told me that ‘they were not into Unions.’”
Born and raised in the City of Tonawanda, a Tonawanda High School Graduate and a married father of four (ages 21, 10, 10 and seven), Gilbert tells Your Regional, On-Line Labor Newspaper that his campaign “is going very well.”
“I’m receiving more support every day and have had a great ability to get my message out. I want to help bring more Jobs to Western New York, more Union Jobs. I want to help lower Taxes to help Small Business create Jobs. I don’t want to get rid of Project Labor Agreements, which have proven to keep costs down, employ Local Workers and keep dollars local. We need to make New York a ‘Business-Friendly State.’ More business in New York means more Jobs and less people leaving this great State. And, I also want to focus on Education. If want to continue to get my message out, by going door-to-door with the help of Organized Labor,” said Gilbert, who’s worked at MJM Electric for 12 years – the last five as a Foreman.
Gilbert is a Member of the City of Tonawanda Youth Board and has been extremely active in the Local Community, serving as a Coach in the Little League Baseball and Football Leagues in the City of Tonawanda. He’s also coached Girls’ Softball. As a Member of the Tonawanda Council, he worked on and helped implement a Drug Policy for City Employees, worked on an Ethics Board, on a Nepotism Policy and helped cut the City Budget, as well as bring in a State-of-the Art Skate Park in the City of Tonawanda, which is free to the Public, Gilbert tells WNYLaborToday.com.
Schimminger, meanwhile, has represented the 140th Assembly District for 36 years – a District that includes all of the Town of Tonawanda, the City of Tonawanda, the entire Village of Kenmore, a portion of North Buffalo and Black Rock, including all of Riverside, all in Erie County, and most of the City of North Tonawanda in Niagara County
Asked why he’d choose to run against such an entrenched Democratic Assemblyman, Gilbert – whose birthday is a day before Election Day – told WNYLaborToday.com: “This was a tremendous opportunity when it came up and I decided to jump into it. Ever since, the support I’ve received has come in like a flood.”