Gov. Dannel P. Malloy playfully pretends he is unaware that 2014 is an election year, but the Connecticut Democratic Party signalled the opposite Friday by beefing up its staff: Jennifer Smith is the party’s liasion with labor.

“Labor Day honors the great improvements union workers fought so hard for, and the victories on behalf of working Americans they’ve contributed to our society,” Smith said. “So I’m thrilled to be kicking off this Labor Day weekend with the opportunity to work with union members across the state on behalf of the Connecticut Democratic Party.”

Smith has been employed for 11 years by one of the state’s most politically active unions, the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199/SEIU. Since 2006, she has been the union’s political director in Connecticut.

She previously was executive director of Progressive Minnesota, an advocacy group backed by labor. 

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