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SEIU's state chief leaving post for Washington office

October 9, 2009 |  4:44 pm

The announcement today by California’s largest union that its state executive leader was departing for a job at the national office sent a stream of accolades and fond wishes gushing from some of the state’s top elected Democrats.

Courtni Pugh will head to the nation’s capital to be the Service Employee International Union’s national redistricting project director, which the organization described as its bid to “take advantage of crucial political opportunities nationwide.”

SEIU is one of the biggest donors to state Democratic candidates and causes.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) called Pugh “a tireless fighter” for the working people of California and for the union. “Courtni leaves very big shoes to fill,” Bass said in a statement.

Assembly Democratic Majority Leader Alberto Torrico of Fremont was no less effusive. He dubbed Pugh “an unwavering warrior” who will “deliver justice to working families all across America.”

Controller John Chiang said Pugh “fearlessly stands tall” on behalf of workers.  

Pugh’s replacement has not been named.

--Eric Bailey in Sacramento