CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayoral candidate Gery Chico picked up the support of Chicago’s firefighters Tuesday morning.
The Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 announced Tuesday that its membership is endorsing Chicago for mayor.
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At a press conference Tuesday morning announcing the endorsement, Chico said that, if elected mayor, he’d be willing to discuss the city’s rule requiring police officers and firefighters to live in Chicago.
“I think we’re a different city than we were 30, 40, 50 years ago when this rule came on the books,” Chico said.
He also said he would sit down with union leaders to maintain an open dialogue about balancing the city’s budget and solving problems with underfunded pension funds.
“As a mayor, I believe it’s part of our responsibility and leadership to sit down with the leaders of this organization and talk through our issues,” Chico said.
Tom Ryan, president of the Chicago firefighters’ union, said members were confident that Chico is the best candidate to fix those problems.
“Experience counts, records counts, results counts. And Gery Chico has the track record that is proven to deliver,” Ryan said.
The vote by FOP President Mark Donahue and his board was unanimous, even though rank-and-file officers polled by the union split almost evenly between Chico and Rahm Emanuel.
At the time, Chico called the endorsement the most important of the campaign — even bigger than former President Bill Clinton’s endorsement of Emanuel.
Emanuel has now been removed from the ballot, following an Illinois Appellate Court ruling agreeing that he does not meet the residency requirements to run for mayor. He has filed a challenge to the ruling with the state Supreme Court.