Norwood, Mitchell pick up endorsements from Atlanta firefighter groups

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Norwood, Mitchell pick up endorsements from Atlanta firefighter groups

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Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, left, and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 134 President Paul Gerdis speak during a campaign event Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The IAFF endorsed Norwood in her run for mayor. STRUBEY/AJC

Atlanta mayoral candidates Mary Norwood and Ceasar Mitchell picked up endorsements Tuesday from two fire fighting organizations.

The International Association of Fire Fighters local 134 endorsed Atlanta City Councilwoman Norwood while Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta threw their support to Mitchell, who is president of the Atlanta City Council.

The two candidates are among more than a dozen hopefuls looking to succeed Kasim Reed as the city’s mayor. The election is Nov. 7.

IAFF announced its backing of Norwood at a morning event near Fire Station No. 1 in the shadow of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The union, which has more than 560 paying members, also endorsed Norwood in her 2009 bid for the city’s top job. It did not make an endorsement in 2013.

“Mary Norwood is known citywide, said IAFF Local 134 President Paul Gerdis, who added that the organization picked Norwood because of her commitment to public safety.

“She lost the mayor’s race by only 700 votes in 2009,” Gerdis said. “We’re not going to let that happen again. We believe we can be a difference maker in this race.”

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, who is running to succeed Kasim Reed as mayor of Atlanta, received the endorsement Tuesday of the Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta. LEON STAFFORD/AJC

Mitchell, who is president of the Atlanta City Council, was endorsed by Progressive Firefighters of Atlanta Local 134, an independent fire fighting labor group, during a press conference on the steps of City Hall.

The group, which has around 325 members, praised Mitchell for being a leader on pay equity, including helping efforts to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15, raise firefighter starting salaries to $40,000 and restructure the city’s pension plan.

“Ceasar Mitchell is the son of a police officer,” said Terrance Simon, president of Progressive Firefighters. “He understands the needs of working families. Ceasar is one of us, don’t let the suit and tie fool you.”

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