Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s reelection bid has picked up the endorsement of a third labor group that traditionally backs Democrats in Maryland’s statewide races.
Leaders from the International Association of Firefighters on Monday said the union was endorsing Hogan because of his accessibility to firefighters and legislation he helped enact to exempt $15,000 of their retirement income from state taxes.
The group said it represents 10,000 current and retired firefighters in Maryland and more than 300,000 worldwide.
“We know that Governor Larry Hogan has our back,” said Mike Rund, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Maryland.
The firefighters union supported Hogan’s Democratic opponent, then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, four years ago; Rund said he could not recall the last time the group supported a Republican for statewide office. It did not endorse Maryland’s most recent Republican governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., during any of his three gubernatorial campaigns.
Two other labor organizations that normally support Democrats have also endorsed Hogan — the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and the State Law Enforcement Officers Labor Alliance.
But the most prominent and politically active unions in Maryland — including the Maryland State Education Association and Service Employees International — have sided with his Democratic opponent, former NAACP chief Ben Jealous.