Annapolis firefighters endorse McMillan as mayoral candidate

Democratic opponent, Moyer, has support of Anne Arundel sheriff

October 19, 2001|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

The Annapolis Professional Fire Fighters union endorsed Alderman Herbert H. McMillan yesterday for mayor of Annapolis.

The endorsement occurred the same day that McMillan's opponent in the Nov. 6 election, Democratic Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, announced the support of Anne Arundel County Sheriff George F. Johnson IV.

The firefighters union is breaking a longstanding tradition of neutrality. About one-third of its 60 members attended the union's monthly meeting Monday night and elected by voice vote to support McMillan, the Republican candidate, said Dan Grimes, a firefighter paramedic and union president.

He said the union felt it was important to support a mayoral candidate this year, although an informal policy kept them from doing so in the past.

Sporting buttons that read "Fire Fighters for McMillan," Grimes and a half-dozen of his colleagues announced their endorsement near a vacant lot between Main Street and State Circle, the former site of a historic building that burned down in 1997.

McMillan is "fiscally responsible, and he is willing to work on issues with us," Grimes said.

McMillan said he was "deeply moved" by the endorsement and vowed to work with them to improve retirement benefits for city firefighters and police officers.

"These are serious times and they require serious leadership," McMillan said.

The firefighters' endorsement occurs a week after the city's 90-member police union endorsed Moyer and the same day Moyer's campaign released a letter from Johnson with his endorsement.

In the letter, Johnson, a Democrat, notes Moyer's support for public safety programs.

"As both a law enforcement officer and an elected official, I have the greatest appreciation and respect for Ellen Moyer," Johnson wrote in the letter, which Moyer's campaign is expected to mail to voters soon. "I urge you to vote for her as Mayor of Annapolis."

At a meeting of the Reagan Republican Club on Wednesday night in Annapolis, Mayor Dean L. Johnson, who lost to McMillan in the Republican primary, called for voters to support the GOP ticket. But, he said yesterday, he has not specifically endorsed McMillan, and probably will not do so.

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