Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large) gives his opening remarks Nov. 15 in Chevy Chase, Md., at a debate featuring Democratic candidates for county executive. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

One of the region's largest labor unions endorsed Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich for county executive Monday, lauding his support for minimum-wage increases, paid sick and family leave and workers' rights over his 12 years in office.

Jaime Contreras, vice president of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, said Elrich (D-At Large) has a long track record of defending low-wage workers and immigrants, most recently with his efforts to raise the county minimum wage.

The union also noted Elrich's co-sponsorship of a bill to ensure that service workers at large commercial office buildings are hired for shifts of no less than 30 hours per week, creating hundreds of full-time jobs and helping full-time workers switch to their employer's private health insurance.

The union has 18,000 members in the Washington area. The announcement marks the first union endorsement among six Democrats and one Republican vying to succeed the outgoing county executive, Isiah Leggett (D).