Two months ago, two of the state’s leading firefighters and police unions
said that Secretary of State Bruce McPherson had the inside track to winning
their endorsements in his race against Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Marina del Rey.
But two weeks ago, Bowen reported that the Peace Officers Research
Association of California (PORAC) had, in fact, endorsed her and the
California Professional Firefighters (CPF) had issued a duel endorsement.
“We were thrilled with it. The senator has a great record on public safety,”
said Bowen campaign manager Sandra Lloyd-Jones. “We were surprised to see
what their intention was, but we were very happy with how it turned out once
endorsement process was completed.”
In early July, Capitol Weekly reported that executives in both unions said
McPherson had the “inside track,” though no formal endorsements had been
Firefighters spokesman Carroll Wills says his union’s duel endorsement “came
down to the fact that both candidates have strong records. We didn’t feel
the difference was great enough to pick one.”
PORAC, which counts 58,000 members, had endorsed McPherson in his unopposed
Republican primary and supported Bowen’s opponent, Sen. Deborah Ortiz,
D-Sacramento, in the Democratic primary. The same is true for the
firefighters union, which has more than 30,000 members.
“Bruce McPherson was surprised he didn’t receive the PORAC endorsement,”
says McPherson spokeswoman Beth Miller Malek.
McPherson does count the endorsements of two of the most powerful labor
unions in the state, the California Teachers Association and the California
Correctional Peace Officers Association, and is the only statewide
Republican to win either organization’s backing.
“The bigger question here is why is Debra Bowen not getting all the labor
endorsements,” says Miller Malek.