(Host) Vermont firefighters have contacted their New Hampshire counterparts to tell them that Howard Dean doesn’t have their support in his campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
The Professional Firefighters of Vermont says that during his time as governor, Dean was not pro-labor or pro-firefighter. Steven Locke is the president of the organization:
(Locke) “The reason that we wrote the letter is because it’s not uncommon for firefighters to communicate across the country. As we see the presidential election unfold, we wanted to make sure that our brothers in New Hampshire were aware of the issues and concerns that we have here as professional firefighters in Vermont.”
(Host) In his letter Locke says as governor, Dean failed to include funds for the firefighters training program in his budget, and that his office never actively supported legislation important to firefighters. Locke also admonishes Dean for never attending the annual firefighters legislative luncheon.
In response, the Dean campaign says Dean provided funding for equipment and training for firefighters, and his administration was responsible for a surcharge on home insurance that benefited the firefighters training program.
Locke says Vermont firefighters will ultimately follow the lead of the International Association of Firefighters in Washington and support whomever the association endorses. During the last election, the organization backed Democrat Al Gore.