The San Diego Municipal Employees Association, the largest labor organization representing city of San Diego employees, endorsed Congressman Bob Filner for mayor of San Diego Monday.
Filner is the only one of four mayoral candidates who opposes a ballot measure that aims to do away with most city employees' pensions.
Although the MEA has not endorsed a mayoral candidate in the past two elections, it chose to weigh in on this election because of Filner's support, said Tony Ruiz, the organization's president.
"Like my colleagues, I chose a career in public service because I care about our city and because public service is an important part of my life," Ruiz said in a statement. "Bob Filner cares about our city too and public service has literally been his life for the last several decades. He has demonstrated time and again that he has what it takes to get things done, and our city needs him now more than ever."
Bob Cronk, MEA's first vice president and political action chair, also said he supports Filner because of his history of service.
"Congressman Filner has nothing to prove and isn't swayed by the political rhetoric of the day," he said. "He has been to the pinnacle of American politics in Washington and knows how to wield power with intelligence, fairness and empathy. He is a leader and he has a positive vision for San Diego."
The mayoral campaign for San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio issued a statement against Filner's endorsement Monday.
"Carl DeMaio feels it is inappropriate to solicit or even accept the endorsement of government labor unions because the next mayor must be ready to fight for pension reform and renegotiate city labor contracts," said Stephen Puetz, DeMaio's campaign spokesman. "San Diego needs a mayor who will fight for taxpayers, not the government labor unions."