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Wendy Greuel Adds Another Public Sector Union, Picking Up Firefighters Endorsement

Update below: Eric Garcetti wins UTLA endorsement. 


L.A.'s public-sector employee unions continue to line up behind Wendy Greuel in the race for mayor.

Greuel already has the backing of the L.A. Police Protective League and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, which represents most workers at the Department of Water and Power, and which has already spent $250,000 trying to get her elected.

Today she picked up another big union endorsement, the United of Firefighters of Los Angeles City.

Now she'll be able to send glossy mailers boasting that cops and firefighters support Greuel.

So far, the only public sector union to support Garcetti is the Engineers and Architects Association -- a City Hall stepchild. As the labor endorsements pile up for Greuel, the Garcetti campaign has begun to characterize her as the establishment choice.

The biggest prize is the L.A. County Federation of Labor, but the Fed seems likely to stay uncommitted until after the March 5 primary. The Service Employees International Union interviewed Garcetti and Greuel last night, but its membership was unable to reach a consensus on an endorsement. However, Greuel did get the preliminary support of two SEIU locals, including Local 721, which represents a large share of city employees. The SEIU board is expected to meet soon to decide whether to impose a consensus on the membership.

If either candidate gets the SEIU endorsement, that would make it all but impossible for their opponent to win the Fed's backing, because SEIU represents nearly 40% of the Fed board. The Fed endorsement requires a two-thirds majority, so winning SEIU's support would also go a long way toward winning the Fed endorsement for the runoff.

Update, Thursday: Garcetti won the United Teachers Los Angeles endorsement last night, on a 146-12 vote. Garcetti amped up his pro-teacher rhetoric in Monday night's debate, saying "I'm sick of us bullying our teachers." That seems to have done the trick.

First posted 2:34 p.m. Wednesday.

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