Corona Assemblyman Eric Linder managed to get a public employee union to do what it hasn’t done in more than 20 years – endorse a Republican.

Linder, who first took office in December 2012, received the endorsement of Service Employees International Union, the labor organization announced late last week.

“SEIU members cited Linder’s accessibility and willingness to meet face-to-face with constituents, as well as his track record of standing by workers who have voted for union representation in their workplace,” the union, which represents state and county employees, said in a news release.

In an emailed statement, Linder said: “I am proud to be recognized by hard working men and women for protecting and creating good jobs in the Inland Empire.”

Mark Janov, who works at Community Hospital of San Bernardino and is a member of SEIU International’s Conservative Committee, cited the ongoing effort to unionize workers at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside as a factor in the decision to endorse Linder.

“Eric Linder has been such an outstanding leader time after time on behalf of hospital workers who voted to unionize at Parkview Community Hospital in Riverside,” he said in the news release. “While the hospital is refusing to recognize the union, Linder has never stopped urging management to honor workers’ wishes and sit down and bargain a contract. He is a great advocate and we’re fortunate to have him helping so many working families. This is why SEIU members are endorsing him for Assembly.”

Linder represents Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco and part of the city of Riverside. He is being challenged for re-election this year by Democrats Sabrina Cervantes and Ken Park.

Cervantes, who works for Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, said: “I am very proud of the endorsements that I have earned from various labor organizations, including the California Nurses Association, which represent working people throughout the 60th Assembly District.”

“From the day I announced my campaign, we have focused on developing policies that advance and empower middle-class families, and I look forward to continue building on our momentum as the Primary Election nears.”

Also of note, while Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, got SEIU’s endorsement for his re-election bid, no endorsement was announced of Medina or Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, who faces Democrat Eloise Reyes in the race for the 47th Assembly District. Medina thus far has no announced Democratic challenger.

Brown and Medina are connected with a loosely organized group of moderate Democrats in the Assembly, who played a big role last fall in the weakening of legislation to fight climate change.