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Seattle firefighter & police unions to endorse Mallahan
Posted by Jim Brunner
Seattle's firefighter and police unions will announce their endorsement of Joe Mallahan for mayor at a news conference Tuesday.
Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 27 president Kenny Stuart said his union's leaders interviewed both Mallahan and his opponent Mike McGinn and found Mallahan "was far and away the best candidate for labor and public safety." He said Mallahan quickly grasped the issues important to firefighters and promised to ensure they have the resources needed to do their jobs.
For example, Stuart said, Mallahan pledged to maintain four-person crews for all fire engines -- a major concern for the firefighters -- even during years when the city is looking for ways to cut the budget. McGinn, he said, made no such assurances.
The Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) will also be joining in the Mallahan endorsement, according to Mallahan campaign spokeswoman Charla Neuman. I was not able to reach SPOG leaders today for comment.
The firefighters were just about the only big local union to refuse to endorse Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels before the primary -- something Stuart crowed a little about when I spoke with him. "We saw it coming," he said of Nickels' defeat.
Firefighters also were miffed when Nickels this year crossed a firefighter picket line while in Providence, Rhode Island to be sworn in as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Their pre-primary neutrality certainly puts the firefighters in a less awkward position than some other labor organizations, like SEIU, which helped pay for phone calls trying to discredit Mallahan as anti-union and unqualified in the last week before the primary. Some of those unions are reportedly behind efforts to draft state Sen. Ed Murray as a write-in mayoral candidate.
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