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Sources at the Police Officers Association, the union that represents officers in the San Diego Police Department, said the association’s board will be discussing, and possibly voting on, who it plans to endorse in a meeting tomorrow.
An endorsement from the POA is one of the big prizes candidates in San Diego seek as they run for office.
There’s no way the POA will endorse Mike Aguirre. They’ve made that abundantly clear in the last few months. In fact, at a press conference recently, the POA board members said they weren’t even considering Aguirre. One board member said if Aguirre showed up at their office, he’d physically eject him from the premises.
That leaves six candidates: Republicans Judge Jan Goldsmith and City Councilman Brian Maienschein, and Democrats Council President Scott Peters, and attorneys Lee Burdick, Amy Lepine and Dan Coffey.
My sources at the POA, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the POA has not yet decided who to endorse, said discussion will likely center around whether the union will endorse Goldsmith, Peters or Maienschein.
Endorsing Maienschein or Peters could be awkward, the sources said, because the two city councilmen are named in lawsuits filed by the POA that allege the politicians committed fraud and theft.
“It would be pretty embarrassing for us if we supported someone we’re suing,” one source said.
The union is also coming under pressure from District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to endorse Goldsmith, the sources said. Dumanis, the POA and the San Diego Deputy Sheriff’s Association prefer to stand shoulder-to-shoulder on these endorsements, though, in 2004, Dumanis did not endorse Aguirre while the other unions did.
On the other hand, the union is also getting leaned on by the city’s other labor unions, most of which are supporting Peters, my sources said.
“We’re pretty torn on this one,” one source said.
The vote could come down tomorrow morning. A majority of the POA nine-person board has to vote for a candidate in order for the union to give its endorsement. But the discussion could be held off until later in the campaign season or even after the city attorney’s primary in June, depending on how tomorrows discussion go, my sources said.