US Senate Race for Illinois - 2004

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January 6, 2003

CONTACT: Chris Mather 
312-337-2004 (w), 312-505-0115 (c)

Dan Hynes Receives Endorsement of Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois

Union Represents 172 Local Unions and More Than 12,000 Fire Fighters Across Illinois

Chicago, IL – Standing in front of Engine 18, Chicago’s oldest active firehouse, with officers and members of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes received the endorsement of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois in his bid for the U.S. Senate.  The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois represent 172 local unions and more than 12,000 firefighters across the state.

“One of the reasons I am running to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate is to fight for men and women like the firefighters who are on the front lines protecting our communities and our country – they are everyday heroes,” said Hynes.

“While firefighters put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe from harm, President Bush has failed to make fully funding programs that help firefighters a priority,” said Hynes.  “President Bush needs to back up his rhetoric and show firefighters the respect they deserve by fully-funding the programs that keep our communities safe.  As Illinois’ U.S. Senator, I will get our priorities back in order and put the needs of our first-responders first.”

“Firefighters are one of the first lines of defense after a terrorist attack and we need a proven leader in the U.S. Senate who will bring federal resources home to Illinois’ firefighters so that we can protect our communities – Dan Hynes is that leader,” said Ed Crews, Northern District Legislative Representative of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois.       

Over two-thirds of all fire departments are under-staffed and a large number of firefighters do not have the training and equipment they need.  Among other things, in the U.S. Senate, Hynes will push to fully-fund the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program, which provides $7.7 billion to hire 75,000 new firefighters across the country.  Bush originally opposed the program and proponents are hoping that it will be included in his budget request to Congress next year.  Hynes will also work to fully-fund the Firefighter Investment and Response Enhancement (FIRE) Act, which helps protect the health and safety of firefighters by providing funds for items such as protective gear, training and communications devices.  The FIRE Act, passed in 2000, authorizes Congress to spend up to $900 million but President Bush asked for only $500 million in his FY2004 budget. 

As State Comptroller, Hynes has a strong record of advocating for Illinois’ working men and women and for this reason Hynes has received the endorsement of hundreds of local labor unions representing more than 700,000 working men and women from a broad spectrum of trades including the Building and Construction Trades, Food and Allied Service Trades, Industrial Unions, Maritime Trades, Metal Trades, Professional Employees Unions and Transportation Trades.

In his past two elections for State Comptroller, Hynes has received the endorsement of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois.  Hynes’ cousin, Jim Hynes, is currently a firefighter in Orland Park and his uncle, Tim Hynes, worked for 32 years as a firefighter in the Chicago Fire Department eventually rising to the ranks of Deputy District Chief.  Since Hynes’ grandparents came over from Ireland in the 1920’s, there have been firefighters in every generation of his family. 

“Hynes is the best guy overall,” said Jim McNally, President of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2.  “He understands our issues, and he’s grown up with them.”




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