2016 Presidential Election Information
Over the last 16 months, the IAFF
Executive Board has been discussing our union’s potential endorsement of
a candidate for president of the United States. Throughout this time, we have continued our due diligence in evaluating the candidates and our members' views and mindset.
After careful deliberations and discussions, the Executive Board made the decision not to support either candidate - a decision we announced at our 53rd Convention in Las Vegas this week.
This decision was not taken lightly, and we feel strongly that this is the right decision in this very different election. We
simply cannot ignore that we have a more heated and ugly dialogue going
on in our country and in this union over this election, over these
candidates, than we’ve seen in modern times. We
have a serious split because both candidates have negatives and
unfavorable ratings that are at historical and record-breaking numbers.
Our Executive Board has discussed that deep and emotional divide in
strongly held positions throughout our ranks and decided that endorsing a
candidate for president in these circumstances would be devastating to
so much of what we have built and counter-productive to our members
It’s important to note that the elections coming this fall have
incredible significance beyond the presidential race. In this election
cycle there are 34 U.S. Senate seats and all 435 House seats up for
re-election, along with 12 governors' races. The IAFF will be heavily involved in many of these races on both sides of the aisle where we can make the most difference.
Also in this election cycle, scores of
state legislative body, mayoral and local municipal elections will also
have an impact on our members, and we will continue our focus on state
and local elections, devoting more of our resources and political
operations on the down-ballot races.
Looking ahead to November 8, we are going to step up and make our presence known in these elections. And we
will continue to educate our members on the issues that affect their
lives and livelihoods and provide updates as the political season
So much of our success comes from our
political strength. Whether there is a Republican or a Democrat in the
White House, we have always found a way to get things done. When this
election is over, we will be ready to work with whoever holds the
highest office in the country.
Politicians and presidents will come and go, but this IAFF will be here long after they are gone.
Harold A. Schaitberger
IAFF Behavioral Health Program
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