A Philadelphia firefighters union voted by a nearly 2 to 1 margin on Wednesday to uphold its endorsement of President Donald Trump after facing backlash over the decision.
The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, which represents firefighters and paramedics in Philadelphia, refused to rescind the endorsement in a 1,444 to 782 vote, the union announced.
The union initially tweeted an endorsement letter on Sept. 29.
“There is tremendous support for President Trump among first responders,” Michael Bresnan, president of Local 22, wrote in the letter.
— IAFF Local 22 (@IAFF22) September 29, 2020
However, some Local 22 members and national IAFF leaders criticized the endorsement, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“Everybody should be up in arms,” Demetrio Olivieri, president of the Spanish American Professional Firefighter Association, said.
“I am dismayed about what is happening in Philadelphia,” IAFF president Harold Schaitberger said, according to The Inquirer.
“This was done wrong. I don’t believe it represents, overall, the view of the members.”
Schaitberger announced in April 2019 that IAFF endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
In response to the criticism, Local 22 decided to conduct a union-wide vote on whether to affirm or rescind the endorsement.
Ballots were sent to Local 22 members on Oct. 13 and counted on Wednesday.
— United Herald (@unitedheraldorg) October 30, 2020
Local 22 represents more than 4,700 active and retired firefighters, according to Bresnan. IAFF has more than 300,000 total members nationally, according to Department of Labor filings.
Bresnan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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