LBPOA backing Donelon in 7th dist, Lerch in 9th dist.; no endorsement in 3d dist.; 5th dist. endorsement awaits completion of interviews
(January 26, 2002, posted as breaking news, 9:55 p.m.) -- LBReport.com has learned the LB Police Officers Association is endorsing Dan Baker for Mayor.
LBPOA president Steve James told LBReport.com tonight that the Political Action Committee of the police officers' public employee union had reached a consensus decision to back Vice Mayor Baker.
"We feel Baker can create consensus by bringing people together better than any of the other candidates," Mr. James said.
Mr. James said the LBPOA's PAC reached its decision after interviewing all the Mayoral candidates, including incumbent Mayor Beverly O'Neill. He said the POA's endorsement of Baker did not reflect dissatisfaction with O'Neill's record but rather a desire to respect the will of the voters on term limits.
"The community we serve has made it clear at the polls that it supports term limits, and we respect that," Mr. James said.
[LB's term limit law does not preclude Mayor O'Neill from waging a write in campaign but does prevent her name from being printed on the ballot.]
Mr. James told LBReport.com the LBPOA was endorsing Mike Donelon in the 7th district Council race and Val Lerch in the 9th district. He said the POA would make no endorsement in the 3d district.
Mr. James said one candidate in the 5th district Council race remained to be interviewed, leaving an endorsement in that race still pending.
The LBPOA's PAC which decided on the endorsements is comprised of roughly 20 officers, although only about 12 took part in the candidate interviews, Mr. James said.
He said that although the union's rank and file membership (roughly 900 officers) would not be voting on the LBPOA's endorsements, the PAC (which includes many LBPOA board members) is not restricted to LBPOA leadership, contains rank and file members and invited participation by additional officers.