New York Daily News

September 21, 2005

Police, fire unions quiet on mayor race


Don't expect the largest police and fire unions to play a big role in the upcoming mayoral election.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association sat out the Democratic primary, and the Uniformed Firefighters Association endorsed Rep. Anthony Weiner, who lost to former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.

Neither union would say yesterday whether it will make an endorsement in the coming weeks as the race between Mayor Bloomberg and Ferrer heats up.

But smart money says they won't.

Both unions have a contentious relationship with Bloomberg and his administration. And they don't really have much of a relationship at all with Ferrer.

His comments to the Sergeants Benevolent Association that the police shooting of Amadou Diallo was not a crime cost him dearly in the African-American community and didn't help him with law enforcement.

Ferrer was part of a contingent arrested in front of One Police Plaza during protests after the shooting.

"Despite his Diallo comment, he did get arrested, he did rip them," said Baruch political science professor Doug Muzzio. "They are not fans."

And there is another, even simpler reason they wouldn't likely back Ferrer, Muzzio said.

Bloomberg "is the likely winner. They may not like him, they may not want to support him, but they don't want to totally antagonize him," Muzzio said. "He has a memory."

In a statement, PBA President Pat Lynch said: "The PBA's political action committee is discussing an endorsement in the mayoral election but no decision has been made yet."

The UFA also is mulling what to do next - if anything.