Gavin Newsom

Strong pro-firefighter record earns Newsom CPF endorsement in 2018 governor’s race

Citing an unflinching record of support for public safety and firefighters even in the toughest of times, California Professional Firefighters, the state’s largest organization representing front line firefighters, has endorsed Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom for governor.

“These are perilous times for our profession and our state, and it’s essential that the next governor offer more than lip service to firefighters,” said CPF President Lou Paulson. “Throughout his public life, Gavin Newsom has built a record of standing up for public safety and the men and women on the front lines, even in tough times. He has earned our endorsement.”

The unanimous vote of the CPF Executive Board capped an extensive review and interview process involving all but two of the major candidates (Republicans John Cox and Travis Allen rejected interview requests from CPF, unlike past GOP contenders).

CPF’s endorsement process centered entirely on the issues that affect firefighters on the job: staffing, pension security, privatization, firefighter health, on-the-job safety, pay and benefits, training, disaster response and the right to negotiate fair contracts. On these issues, Newsom represented a clear choice over his primary rivals, notably former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“The next governor will play a huge role in decisions that will affect our firefighters and the people we protect,” said Tony Gamboa, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112. “On the central issues that affect the lives, health and safety of firefighters, we believe Gavin Newsom is the best choice for governor.”

During the Great Recession, Newsom, then the mayor of San Francisco, held the line on public safety funding, refusing to cut a single engine company despite intense political pressure. By contrast, Villaraigosa implemented rolling brownouts that, on any given day, shuttered 28 companies. Newsom also implemented long-overdue upgrades to the city’s Emergency Operations Plan, implemented emergency warning systems and sponsored a bond measure that upgraded the city’s water system.

“When our firefighters needed a champion at City Hall, Gavin Newsom stood up to those who wanted to roll back fire and emergency medical response,” said Tom O’Connor, president of San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798. “He kept his commitment to public safety as mayor, and we believe he will stand up for our firefighters as governor.”

“As mayor and as lieutenant governor, I’ve been proud to stand with our firefighters, who put their lives on the line to keep our state and our communities safe,” Newsom said. “I’m honored to receive CPF’s support and am committed to ensuring that the men and women on the front lines are respected in deeds, as well as in words.”

Get the facts: To learn how the candidates stand on the core issues affecting the lives and livelihoods of firefighters and why Gavin Newsom is the right choice on these issues, check out www.firefightersforgavin.org.