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The Lincoln firefighters union has endorsed Leirion Gaylor Baird in the mayor's race. 

“Leirion has done a lot to educate herself about the challenges facing firefighters in Lincoln over the last several years," the union said in a news release.

"She advocated for the opening of two new stations and worked to find funding to replace apparatus that was obsolete and dangerous to the citizens and firefighters." 

The firefighters endorsed just one candidate in the April primary, where there are two Democrats, a Republican and two independent candidates who have announced they are running. 

It would be rare for the union to co-endorse, union President Adam Schrunk said about the two Democratic candidates in the mayor's race, Gaylor Baird and Jeff Kirkpatrick.

Firefighters have more personal experience and a relationship with Gaylor Baird, who is a City Council member, he said.

"We didn’t have any ill will toward Jeff (Kirkpatrick). We just decided we wanted to get behind Leirion in this case," Schrunk said in a telephone interview.

He said Gaylor Baird's work to shore up the retirement system for firefighters and police in Lincoln "goes a long way to ensure that only the highest-quality candidates join our ranks."

Gaylor Baird has also voted to increase the number of firefighters. 

"We believe she has the best interest of the firefighters and the citizens at heart," Schrunk said in the release. 

Gaylor Baird said she has made public safety, and the men and women who provide it, her top priority as an elected official.

"As mayor, I will continue to stand by our firefighters and paramedics as they save lives and protect our property. They bravely face danger every day, and I am committed to upholding our obligation to fully fund their pension, maintain our fire stations and provide them with the resources and staffing levels they need to fulfill their duties," she said.

The firefighters union often provides financial support and members sometimes do door-to-door canvassing on behalf of endorsed candidates.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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