Kerry snubs teachers' union

July 6, 2004 at 1:43 PM

WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- The day after the National Education Association endorsed him, U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry canceled plans to speak to the group in Washington Tuesday.

The nation's largest teachers' union overwhelmingly Monday endorsed Kerry's presidential bid, giving the Massachusetts Democrat more than 86 percent of the vote of the nearly 9,000 delegates attending the union's annual meeting in Washington

Kerry cited the need to meet with his newly chosen running mate, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., as the reason for canceling the speech before the annual meeting of the nation's largest teachers' union.

The speech was to have been part of a three-day campaign swing emphasizing the need for responsible leadership scheduled to start Tuesday at the rally in Pittsburgh where Kerry announced he had picked Edwards as his 2004 running mate.

The 2.7-million member union's endorsement generates considerable resources for Kerry. The NEA said its political staff will be put to work in 15 target states over the course of the general election, going into schools to rally members and sponsoring house parties emphasizing the importance of education as a political issue.

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