New York Post: Kathy Hochul nets endorsements from NYC firefighter unions
By BERNADETTE HOGAN
January 7, 2022 12:45 PM
ALBANY — Two major unions representing firefighters are backing Gov. Kathy Hochul in her 2022 campaign for a full term — with reps telling The Post she’s earned “the trust and confidence” of New York’s Bravest.
Both the FDNY-Firefighters Association and FDNY-Fire Officers Association, representing a combined 28,000 active and retired firefighters and officers, are supporting Hochul — marking the first pair of endorsements she’s received from a major uniformed services union.
“Gov. Kathy Hochul has earned the trust and the confidence of New York City firefighters,” Andrew Ansbro, president of the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association, told The Post. “Her commitment to FDNY Firefighters has been on display since her first day in office as governor, and we are confident that her leadership is needed now more than ever, as Firefighters continue to face today’s unprecedented challenges.”
He said Hochul reached out to him barely a week after her predecessor, disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced his resignation in August, moving her into the state’s top office. She asked what she could do to be supportive to firefighters on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 — an important day to commemorate the FDNY first responders who tragically lost their lives that day, Ansbro said.
“She did accept my invitation on 9/11 to come to St. Patrick’s Cathedral — to come to Mass at St. Pat’s is a big deal,” Ansbro said. “It meant a lot to families and it was nice to see her honoring such an important day.”
Lt. James McCarthy, president of the FDNY-Uniformed Fire Officers Association, said Hochul has been “a champion for public safety.
“She has supported our issues and members since her time in Congress. Since she became lieutenant governor we’ve had an excellent relationship with her,” he told The Post, adding she’s been supportive of their agenda in Albany and recently signed two pension-related bills — one allowing disability retirement benefits for the presumption of Parkinson’s disease and another that would bring parity to pension benefits of some firefighters hired after a certain year.
Hochul responded in a statement, “I am incredibly grateful to receive endorsements from this coalition of unions who represent the very best and bravest of New York’s firefighting community.
“I understand the many challenges our first responders face, and the need for an administration that listens and provides these dedicated professionals with the support they need to keep our communities safe. Together, we will continue to protect the rights of every worker and lift up all those who answer the call of duty.”
Hochul is running for a full term in the upcoming June Democratic primary against Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumanne Williams. Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also considering a run.
Meanwhile Hochul picked up endorsements from members of the The Hotel Association of New York City and the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association.
Hochul previously announced a $450 million recovery package intended to bolster the state’s beleaguered tourism industry which, among other things, directs $100 million in payments to unemployed hospitality workers, adds $100 million in incentives to employers to rehire laid-off tourism workers and provides $25 million in grants to help convention centers attract events.
NYC Hotel Association president and CEO Vijay Dandapani said, “Governor Kathy Hochul has demonstrated a clear understanding of the unprecedented difficulties faced by the hotel and tourism sector, acting quickly to provide meaningful relief while ensuring her ongoing support for our long-term recovery.”
Mark Dorr, president of the NYS Hospitality & Tourism Association, said, “Governor Hochul has long been one of the biggest proponents for tourism in New York including her tenure as Lieutenant Governor when she actively promoted the critical economic activity our industry brings to every part of the state. We need her in our corner and in the Executive Chamber for the next four years.”
The Hotel Trades Council, the union representing 31,000 hotel workers, previously endorsed Hochul.