Labor groups for both the Chattanooga Fire Department and area law enforcement services have begun to announce their endorsements for candidates in the city's upcoming municipal elections.
The local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO), which consists of members of both the Chattanooga Police Department and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, has offered endorsements to four candidates in City Council races.
Candidates receiving the group's endorsement include Ken Smith in District 3, Tom Tomisek in District 4, Chris Anderson in District 7 and Councilman Peter Murphy in District 9.
When asked what qualities separated the three candidates seeking to unseat incumbents from the current representatives, IBPO spokesman Tim Tomisek said the group sought to endorse candidates who would help facilitate resources to officers in order to help them better serve communities.
"We're not looking to get rich or for things we don't need; we're just looking to support someone who has the community in their best interests," Tomisek said. "There's been some serious misallocation of funds in the past, and we're also looking for candidates who'll go in and stop that."
Tomisek, who is the son of District 4 candidate Tom Tomisek, added that he played no role in the group's decision to endorse his father.
The Chattanooga Firefighters Association, which consists of members from the Chattanooga Fire Department, has also endorsed at least three candidates in city races.
Candidates are Ken Smith in District 3, Ryan King in District 4, Chris Anderson in District 7 and Peter Murphy in District 9.
Jack Thompson, newly elected president of the group, said their group was focused on supporting candidates who would help give firefighters the resources needed to enhance safety.
"Supporting public safety and anyone who is going to best support it is our primary goal," Thompson said.
Municipal elections are March 5.
Updated @ 2:50 p.m. on 1/16/13 to add Ken Smith's name to the list of candidates being endorsed by the Chattanooga Firefighters Association.