FREEPORT (WIFR) -- In Freeport this morning, the Police Union announced its decision to back mayoral candidate Jim Gitz.
A spokesman for the Freeport Police Benevolent and Protection Association says they made the endorsement because out of the three remaining mayoral candidates, Gitz has the most experience. They like some of the initiatives he helped to introduce when he was first elected mayor. You may recall, Mayor George Gaulrapp ousted Gitz from office back in 2005 and the Police Union says going back in time could actually do a lot of good.
"We had very good partnerships with all aspects of the city and the neighborhoods, and that's kind of gone by the wayside. We would like to get back to, again, what we can do with the people in the neighborhoods instead of for them,” said Craig Wainman, the spokesman for the PBPA.
Gitz is running against people’s party candidate Jon Staben and independent Kathy Knodle.
After the announcement, we reached out to both candidates. Staben tells us he understands their decision and says “I could only respond with the truth regarding additional training and the city management team in light of the $730,000 shortfall in the 2013 budget. If elected, I do not see this as a problem.”
Knodle says, “I think good leaders take the time to listen and don’t just go tell people what they want to hear. I am disappointed that they endorsed Mr. Gitz.”