Fire fighters union backs Dayton

Fire fighters back Dayton
The Minnesota Fire Fighters union held a news conference at the Fire Fighters Hall and Museum in Minneapolis. Union president Chris Parsons announced the endorsement. Tom Scheck/MPR Photo

The Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters union announced today that it is backing DFL Gov. Mark Dayton for another term.

Union leaders said Dayton is a better choice than Republican Jeff Johnson and Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet.

“This decision was unanimous by our board and frankly it was an easy decision to make,” Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters President Chris Parsons said.

The union is backing Dayton because he protected a fund used to train fire fighters and increased state aid for local governments. Parsons also said Dayton has been proactive in recognizing the threat of volatile crude oil and other hazardous materials being shipped by rail across Minnesota.

“I can say without qualification that there has been no other governor during that time that has paid more attention to fire safety issues than our governor, Mark Dayton,” Parson said.

The union backed Dayton for governor in 2010 but has backed Republicans in past.  It endorsed Republican Tim Pawlenty for governor in 2002 and 2006.

Dayton said he’s pleased to receive the endorsement. He also hinted that he’d be willing to increase state aid to cities and counties in a second term if the state’s budget is strong.

“If we can continue to provide that kind of support and help relieve the burden on property taxpayers then I’m certainly going to look favorably upon it,” Dayton said.

The fire fighters union represents 1,600 members.

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