Gwen Graham receives national firefighters union endorsement

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Gwen Graham received a significant endorsement today in her campaign for Florida’s Congressional District 2 from the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

Graham, daughter of former governor and Sen. Bob Graham, is the Democrat challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland for the district covering Tallahassee and Panama City, as well as the eastern part of the Florida Panhandle.

“Every moment, whether on duty or off, fire fighters stand ready to put their lives at risk for the people they serve,” says Jim Tolley, President of IAFF affiliate, Florida Professional Firefighters. “We don’t ask for much in return, other than our elected officials to ensure that these public safety employees can earn a livable wage and receive the respect they are due for their public service.”

Praising her commitment to stand up for first responders, Tolley says, “We know we can count on Gwen Graham to be a vocal advocate for us.”

“Standing up for police and fire fighters is one of the basic responsibilities of every public servant, Republican or Democratic,” Graham responds. “Unfortunately, the partisan dysfunction in D.C. is too often standing in the way of focusing on this vital issue. 

“In my book, given the risks that fire fighters take for us on a daily basis, they should know that their members of Congress will have their backs.”

According to recent Federal Election Commission numbers, Graham’s campaign collected in excess of $474,000 for a total of $1.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2013 — with more than $1,049,000 cash-on-hand — since entering the in early April.

Graham’s fundraising puts her at the top of the list of Congressional challengers nationwide.

Southerland raised $839,854.98 so far in the 2014 election cycle, as of the most recent FEC filings, while spending $302,773.33.

 

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.