“We’re supporting him because, in short, we want to try to help him get on the national stage, talk about working people’s issues, maybe help frame the debate,” Mr. Ward said in an interview. “And, if he gets a little lucky and catches a little fire, more than that.”
In addition to the funds it will spend independently, which must be done without coordinating with the campaign, the union is undertaking an unusual effort to organize its members to donate directly to Mr. de Blasio. Mr. Ward said nearly 5,000 members had contributed about $80,000 to the campaign.
“When you get past the name calling and listen to the facts, he has done more for working people in New York than almost anybody on that stage can talk about having done for people they’ve represented,” Mr. Ward said, referring to the debate stage. He added that the union could spend $1 million or more supporting the mayor.
Olivia Lapeyrolerie, a spokeswoman for Mr. de Blasio, said the hotel union “is leading the charge to put working people first in New York City, and the mayor is honored to have their support.”