Philadelphia Firefighters Union Votes to Uphold Its Endorsement of Trump

October 30, 2020 Updated: October 30, 2020

The union representing the Philadelphia Fire Department on Thursday voted to uphold its endorsement for President Donald Trump.

Members of the Local 22 union voted by a margin of nearly two-to-one to endorse Trump, with Kenneth Egger, National Vice President of Elections, announcing the results in a statement (pdf).

The question that members voted on was, “Should Local 22 rescind the endorsement of Donald J. Trump for President of the United States?” with 1,444 voting “no” and 782 voting “yes.”

Trump acknowledged the endorsement in a tweet on Friday.

The vote was prompted by pushback from some Local 22 members over the union’s earlier endorsement of Trump, with some arguing that it was not appropriate for the union to give out any kind of political endorsements.

“If he would have endorsed [Joe] Biden, I would have felt the same way. That’s not our place,” firefighter Christopher Smith told CBSN Philly in early October, referring to union president Michael Bresnan.

“This would be the first time Local 22 has ever placed itself in a position to endorse a president of the United States,” Local 22 member Girt Allerton told the outlet.

In response to some members’ complaints, Bresnan agreed to hold a vote on the endorsement, telling CBSN Philly in a statement: “The Executive Board has decided to do a full membership vote via mail secret ballot, similar to our elections, on the issue of the endorsement of the President of the United States. The vote tally will be completed and abided by, by the end of October prior to the election.”

The Trump campaign has been backed by several local and national unions that represent first responders, including the Fraternal Order of Police, whose estimated 335,000 members endorsed Trump in September, as well as the 241,000-strong National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO).

“Our endorsement recognizes your steadfast and very public support for our men and women on the front lines, especially during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many,” wrote NAPO president Michael McHale in the endorsement.

At the time, The Trump campaign welcomed the NAPO endorsement, with Trump 2020 Senior Adviser for Law Enforcement and Labor Unions Bob Paduchik, saying in a statement: “Joe Biden has done nothing to stop his party’s ‘defund the police’ movement and remains silent as police officers across the country are being attacked by violent rioters and protesters.”

“This endorsement for President Trump highlights that as the Law and Order President, he is defending the hardworking people who risk their own lives every day to keep our communities safe,” Paduchik wrote.

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