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Florida firefighters back Barack Obama

So a union endorsed a Democrat. So what, right?

Well, the Florida Professional Firefighters were the only firefighter affiliate union in the country that refused to back John Kerry in 2004, partly because then Gov. Jeb Bush had helped them with pensions and his brother was on the ballot.

Now they're behind President Obama, whom they supported in 2008. The firefighters, like the police union, have historically been more likely than other government-sector unions to back Republicans. But amid Republican-led budget cuts and criticisms about pensions, the unions have little choice but to stampede to Democrats.

Also, the firefighters aren't as disorganized and feckless as, say SEIU. The question: Will the firefighters  actually put in the man hours to help with the Democrats' ground game in Florida?

The press release:

Florida Professional Firefighters President Gary Rainey released the following statement responding to Gov. Mitt Romney’s claim that we don’t need “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” as Romney visits Florida today.

“There’s a lot at stake in this presidential election, and last Friday, Mitt Romney once again showed us why. He said that cutting back our nation’s firefighters is going to ‘help the American people.’ But eliminating first responders on our streets is not the kind of help the American people want.”

“Yet that’s exactly what Mitt Romney has done. His record in Massachusetts shows that he vetoed more than $1 million for fire education. The vetoes were so wrong that both parties in the State House and Senate overrode them unanimously. Mitt Romney didn’t value jobs for firefighters and paramedics when he was governor of Massachusetts, and he doesn’t now.”

“It’s President Obama who has always stood by those who keep our communities safe and provide fire and emergency medical services to those in desperate situations. He’s supported hiring programs, provided safety equipment and modernized firehouses that have helped firefighters keep their jobs and stay safe. His jobs plan will keep firefighters and paramedics on the job across the country. Since President Obama has always had our back, Florida firefighters and paramedics will continue to have his back come November.”

The Florida Professional Firefighters have endorsed President Obama and Vice President Biden for re-election in 2012.