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UPDATED: Jail, public building guards endorse Gray for D.C. mayor

Anne Bartlett

Update, 11:59 a.m.: Michael Wilhelm, secretary of the FOP Protective Services labor committee, said on Wednesday that Tuesday's news release stating his organization's support for Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in the mayor's race was premature. Wilhelm said that the Protective Services executive board has not yet voted on which candidate will win the official endorsement.

"We intend to make one," said Wilhelm, adding that an endorsement could come by the end of the week. "At this time, we are not prepared to endorse any candidate."

Orginal post: Officers who guard city buildings and employees at the city jail and within the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services have decided to support D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray in the city mayoral election.

The 1,300 employees for the Department of Corrections, DYRS and Protective Services are represented by separate lodges of the Fraternal Order of Police. District police officers, also represented by the FOP, announced their support of Gray over Mayor Adrian M. Fenty six weeks ago.

"The decision was an easy one," said John Rosser, vice-chairman of the Department of Corrections Labor Committee, which represents guards and staff at the jail. "We need a mayor that listens and really cares for the honest, front-line city employees who provide that thin blue line in our prisons and on our streets."

In the battle for union support, nearly all of the government employees unions have lined up behind Gray. The Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO has also endorsed the chairman.

Fenty's sole labor endorsement has come from the Laborers Local 657, which represents about 3,000 local construction workers.

One of the last remaining major unions to announce its endorsement is the Service Employees International Union. During the 2006 campaign, SEIU was the only labor organization to endorse Fenty over then council-chairman Linda Cropp. There has been considerable debate about the value of labor endorsements because many unionized workers live in Maryland or Virginia and cannot vote in District elections.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

--Tim Craig

By Tim Craig  |  July 13, 2010; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty , Vincent C. Gray  
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I am the Executive Secretary of the Fraternal Order of Police - Protective Services Police Department Labor Committee ... we have NOT made any endorsement at this time in the Mayoral race.

Additionally, members of the Protective Services Police Department are NOT "building guards as you describe.

Posted by: mjw064 | July 13, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

as noted.. they don't live in dc.

Posted by: pdv1 | July 13, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

LOL@pdv1. You are correct, many of the union members live in the State of Maryland and cannot vote in the District of Columbia.

Brenda Martin, R.N.
B.S.N. Duke University
M.S.N. Johns Hopkins University

Ward 4 D.C. Voter

Posted by: BrendaMartin | July 13, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Many union members have family members and friends that DO live in DC and can vote.

Posted by: bnew100 | July 14, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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