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Firefighters Union Holds Off Endorsing After Biden Decides Not To Run

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 21/10/2015 Amanda Terkel

WASHINGTON -- The powerful International Association of Firefighters has decided not to endorse a candidate for president this year, now that Vice President Joe Biden has decided not to run. 

“While we believe he would be a great President of the United States, in the end Joe decided not to run, and our union will now hold our powder dry and likely wait until the New Year to consider any decisions on any future endorsement," IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger said in a statement to The Huffington Post. 

Earlier this month, the union backed off its plan to endorse Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton amid reports that Biden, who has strong labor ties, was thinking of jumping into the race. 

“When our union decided that we would endorse Joe Biden for President if he entered the race, we did so knowing he was going through a very deliberate process of checking the boxes to determine whether he would be able to run the kind of campaign it takes to win in terms of infrastructure, money and constituencies, and while he made that final gut decision on whether to run," Schaitberger added. 

According to The New York Times, Schaitberger worried that endorsing Clinton may upset some of IAFF's membership, which leans Republican. The union, however, traditionally endorses Democrats because of their pro-labor positions. 

Although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also has a long history of supporting labor rights, Clinton has so far accumulated far more union endorsements. 

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