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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Another labor union endores Kathleen Ford

14

October

ST. PETERSBURG -- Members of the West Central Florida AFL-CIO unions have endorsed Kathleen Ford for mayor, according to executive director Cheryl Schroeder.

Bill Foster did not respond to several requests to meet with them, she said. He cited scheduling conflicts. He also did not respond to a request to fill out their candidate survey.

"We have a perception that either because of our questions or for what we stand for, he perceived that there was no reason to meet with us," she said. "So, why did we support Kathleen Ford? First of all, it is not by default. We were impressed by her reasoning."

In response to many of Ford's answers, Schroeder said she wrote "right" on her note pad.

"She was very strong on labor issues," she said.

For example, the union asked whether there should be a living wage policy for city employees and contractors who work with the city. Ford said yes, but said she would need to study the issue to see how it could legally be implemented.

"She wasn't just 'yes ma'aming' us," Schroeder said. "She was actually giving us her true opinions on the issues."

The union also endorsed City Council candidate Steve Kornell in the District 5 race and Leonard Schmiege in the District 8 race.

"He shone like a diamond in the rough," said Schroeder of Schmiege.

His rival, council member Jeff Danner, also did not attend their candidate screening.

The SEIU union also endorsed Ford.

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:12pm]

    

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