Firefighters And Police Split On Mayoral Candidate Endorsements

by Gabe Bullard on August 18, 2010

The Louisville firefighters union and the local Fraternal Order of Police have endorsed opposing candidates in the Louisville mayor’s race.

The firefighters are supporting Democrat Greg Fischer. The police, however, favor Republican Hal Heiner. FOP President Dave Mutchler says he was not happy that Fischer said he would retain Chief Robert White if elected.

“We were a little bit miffed that Mr. Fischer would make personnel decisions in the midst of a campaign. We kind of felt that those types of decisions—putting department heads in place—are for the mayor to make,” he says.

Both unions say their candidate would be better to work with than current Mayor Jerry Abramson, with whom they have clashed over pay and contract issues. Firefighters union president Craig Willman says he likes Fischer’s approach working out such disputes.

“He’s already been a better candidate than the previous mayor we had in dealing with negotiations and the obstructions that we’ve had to deal with and long, contentious negotiations which we were able to not find any resolve in,” he says.

The firefighters’ decision was made based on interviews conducted last spring and meetings with Fischer held afterward. The FOP conducted new interviews.

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