Firefighters Endorse Democrat David Weprin for Anthony Weiner's Seat

NY Daily News - August 22, 2011


The city's firefighters endorsed the Democrat running for Anthony Weiner's empty congressional seat Sunday, saying he'd best protect working New Yorkers and hasn't politicized the tragedy of Sept. 11.

Assemblyman David Weprin got the nod from the Uniformed Fire Officers Association and the Uniformed Firefighters Association in the Sept. 13 special election to fill the vacant 9th Congressional District seat covering parts of Queens and Brooklyn.

"Weprin is the best candidate to protect the rights of working men and women, and he doesn't try to get political mileage out of 9/11," said Al Hagan, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

Hagan said his members were offended when GOP candidate Bob Turner used a video of the smoking twin towers in an attack ad that claimed Weprin supported the so-called "Ground Zero mosque."

Union leaders also said Weprin has protected union benefits and pensions in the Assembly. "All candidates are against terrorism, and to suggest otherwise, I find troubling," Hagan said.

Firefighters tailed former Mayor Rudy Giuliani in Florida during the 2008 presidential race when he used 9/11 to further his campaign. "We dogged [Giuliani] because he used 9/11 as an adjective, a verb and a noun," Hagan said.

Weprin has said it would be insensitive to build a mosque near Ground Zero, but that the law allows it.