Monday, September 15, 2008

Udall / Heinrich Thank Firefighters for Endorsements!

Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Tom Udall told firefighters on Monday morning at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, "Your line of work is truly courageous."

Udall was on stage accepting the endorsement of the New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association and the International Association of Fire Fighters in his bid to replace retiring Senator Pete Domenici.

Udall has already received the endorsment of the New Mexico Fraternal Order of Police.

"Receiving this endorsement form our firefighters today is a particularly special moment in this campaign for me," said Udall. "I have a great feeling of pride in celebrating this endorsement because it's a tough one to earn."

Udall reminded the union he had fought to protect firefighters and pledged to continue his support in the Senate.

"This election is about the forgotten middle class. Those who are struggling to make ends meet because of rising gas prices, rising health care costs, rising food prices and rising college tuition," Udall said. "It is the forgotten middle class that for eight years has been ignored and marginalized."

During the almost year-long campaign Udall has told crowds that he wants to do "what is right for New Mexico." At today's he continued to make the pledge when he said, "There is no better example of doing what is right that supporting our fire fighters .

Click the pink play button to listen to Udall's complete un-edited remarks.

Udall was introduced by I.A.F.F. General President Harold Schaitberger, who was just re-elected to the post last month. Under Schaitberger's leadership the IAFF’s Political Action Committee, FIREPAC, has grown to more than $3.75 million and ranks among the top one percent of PACs in the nation. His commitment to ensuring that the IAFF supports candidates and lawmakers who are friendly to fire fighters and their issues, regardless of political party, has significantly enhanced the union’s power and influence at all levels of politics.

To hear the Schaitberger's introductory remarks click the pink play button.

Democrat Martin Heinrich, who's in a tough race with Republican Sheriff Darren White, was also on stage for the event. UPDATE: He also received the IAFF endorsement on Monday morning. During his term on the city council Heinrich helped to pass a 1/4 cent sales tax to generate revenue for a new fleet of fire trucks. Heinrich had already received the local endorsement. In 2006 the IAFF International endorsed Patricia Madrid, while local fire fighters decided to support the eventual winner, Heather Wilson.

The Word also saw City Councilors Debbie O'Malley, Ray Garduno, Ken Sanchez, PRC Chairman Jason Marks and State Senate Candidate Victor Raigoza in the crowd of about 125 supporters. Rep. Udall left the event quickly to return to the Airport. He's due back in Washington for the wrap up of the 110th Congress, which is expected to adjourn on Sept. 26th.

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