Glendening endorsed by Md. firefighters

August 27, 1997


Staff Writer

Maryland firefighters tried to light a fuse under Gov. Parris N. Glendening's campaign Tuesday, handing him an early endorsement in his re-election bid.

Meeting at their annual leadership convention in Hagerstown, the Maryland and D.C. Professional Firefighters Association sought to give Glendening a boost 15 months before the election.

"We're proud to be on Parris' bandwagon," union president Kevin B. O'Connor said.

Union leaders described Glendening as a longtime friend of professional firefighters, citing his support of legislation banning residency requirements for firefighters and his executive order guaranteeing collective bargaining rights for state workers.


Glendening finds himself on familiar terrain; the firefighters union endorsed his candidacy long before the primary four years ago.

"We were one of the first organizations to endorse him," said Andy Hartman, president of Local 1605 in Hagerstown. "The governor always has been a friend of labor. We've always been for the governor and we always will."

Glendening, speaking at the gathering at the Ramada, thanked the union for its backing and vowed continued support for professional firefighters and rescue workers.

"I remember in the last election coming up here and you were the first out of the box," he said. "Your first endorsement last time led to an upset victory."

Glendening also expressed gratitude on a personal note: "Aside from the politics you all do a job that, quite candidly, I couldn't do."

Harold A. Schaitberger, executive assistant to the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, praised Glendening for fighting for collective bargaining rights.

"We're lucky here in Maryland. We have a governor that stood up to anti-union forces," he said.

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