San Diego city firefighters union endorses Bob Filner for mayor

Filner running against Councilman Carl DeMaio

SAN DIEGO - The union representing San Diego city firefighters Monday endorsed the mayoral campaign of Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, over his opponent, Councilman Carl DeMaio.

"Mr. DeMaio has done nothing in the four years he's sat on the council to improve public safety and fire protection," International Association of Firefighters Local 145 President Frank DeClercq told City News Service.

Instead, he has shown "dislike and disrespect" for public safety employees, despite numerous concessions in salary and benefits, DeClercq said.

K.B. Forbes, a spokesman for the councilman's campaign, told City News Service the endorsement was no surprise.

"They've been vehemently opposed to Carl DeMaio's pension reform efforts since the beginning and have been running attack ads for weeks," Forbes said.

DeClercq said he met Filner for the first time six months ago, and believes he will address a critical need for more fire stations around the city, as outlined in a consultant's report.

A news conference to announce the endorsement was held at a fire station in Rancho Bernardo -- part of DeMaio's district -- that covers 25 square miles, according to DeClercq, who has been critical of the councilman in the past.

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