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Connolly, Firefighters Continue a Beautiful Friendship

Bill Turque

As investments go, Gerald E. Connolly has yielded pretty good returns for Fairfax County firefighters and paramedics.

Their union, Local 2068 of the International Association of Firefighters, has put up nearly $100,000 in campaign contributions to the Board of Supervisors chairman over the last four years.

During that period, they've received salary increases significantly higher than those of other county employees. County and union officials say there was no quid pro quo, and that the raises were strictly a matter of keeping public safety pay competitive with surrounding communities.

In any event, the close ties with Connolly continued this week when Local 2068 and its Prince William affiliate (Local 2958) endorsed his candidacy for the Democratic Congressional nomination in the 11th District.

"This is about a relationship," Local 2068 president John Niemiec said in a statement. "Gerry has stood with us for thirteen years and we're proud to stand with him now."

It's more than cash that makes the fireighters a valuable asset for Connolly. They also bring boots on the ground for phone banks, sign placement and other key campaign activities.

Connolly's principal opponent, former Rep. Leslie L. Byrne, has also collected significant labor endorsements, including the Washington D.C. Building Trades Council and AFSCME Virginia.



By Bill Turque  |  March 21, 2008; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2008/Congress , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly  
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