ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–Two firefighters unions representing some 3,000 members are endorsing Congressman Russ Carnahan in his primary battle against Congressman Lacy Clay Jr..
Firefighters Locals 73 and 2665 made their announcement in a Lafayette Square bar where firefighters congregate amid decor of old fire hats, signs and fire engine photographs.
Flanked by his wife, his mother and brother, Carnahan told the crowd of some 40 firefighters wearing “Firefighters for Carnahan” t-shirts that he is encouraged after having met with voters in the newly-redrawn 1st congressional district.
“I can only tell you from my experience traveling all over this new district that we’ve gotten a very, very positive response,” Carnahan said.
Carnahan also touted his recent success in fund raising for the the race and deflected a question suggesting voters might “robotically” pick Clay because of his high name recognition in what may appear to be a Coke vs. Pepsi race.
“I don’t think voters are robots,” he said.
Union members on hand for the endorsement thanked Carnahan for his longtime support when they needed a vote to ensure funding for new equipment or federal funds to save firefighters’ jobs.
“He’s really taken an interest in our issues in terms of staffing and equipment needed,” said Mark Woolbright, International Association of Firefighters District 2 Vice President.
Earlier, Clay received endorsements from the Missouri AFL-CIO, as well as from Mayor Slay and County Executive Dooley.