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November 4, 2013

City Police union backs James Calnon for mayor

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh mayoral candidate James Calnon received an endorsement Sunday from a major city union.

Calnon, an independent who is running as the Republican and Independence Party candidate, was endorsed by the Plattsburgh Police Local 812, representing city officers.

FIRST TIME SINCE ‘99

Union Vice President Sgt. Kevin Riley said the union normally does not get involved in political battles and has not endorsed a mayoral candidate since 1999, when they endorsed Councilor Daniel Stewart, who went on to defeat incumbent Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

Riley said union members felt it was crucial, however, for them to get involved this year as Calnon, the Ward 4 councilor; Democrat Mark Tiffer, the Ward 2 councilor; and independent Chris Rosenquest run for the top elected position in the city.

“The members of the union feel it is important to have a mayor who has a strong understanding of the city and public-safety issues,” Riley said at a news conference Sunday afternoon outside the Police Station on Pine Street.

“Councilor Calnon has been a resident of the city for more than 30 years and is very experienced in city issues, businesses and public safety.”

Calnon, 64, has served as the council liaison to the Police Department since 2007 and is head of the city’s Public Safety Committee.

AFSCME BACKING

The police support is the second union endorsement Calnon has received in the race. The American Federation of State County Municipal Employees Local 788, the city’s largest union, endorsed him Oct. 17.

“I am grateful for this expression of confidence in me,” Calnon said Sunday.

“Like AFSCME, an overwhelming majority of the police live inside the city, and I know that they understand the need for a proven and balanced leader at the helm.

“My relationships with the City Police as a business owner in the 1970s through these last seven years on the City Council have been respectful and productive.”

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