Gary Schiff loses campaign manager, fire department endorsement

Schiff (left) lost fire union president Lakosky's support after a heated exchange on the convention floor.
Schiff (left) lost fire union president Lakosky's support after a heated exchange on the convention floor.

The DFL endorsement convention Saturday didn't go very well for anyone -- it did, after all, end in an endorsement-less pizza party -- but Gary Schiff suffered a particularly difficult day, losing his campaign manager and one of his most influential supporters.

In a surprising move, the Minneapolis Fire Department union pulled its endorsement from Schiff on the convention floor, pledging to back Mark Andrew.

Reached this morning, Schiff's campaign manager, Mark Warren, says he is also "not moving forward" with Schiff after Saturday. Warren didn't elaborate on his reasons for leaving.

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Mark Lakosky, president of the fire union, explains that his decision to rescind his endorsement for Schiff came after a heated exchange at the convention. When it appeared he would not get the votes necessary to get past the third ballot, Schiff voluntarily withdrew, and Lakosky found out he was now going to tell his delegates to back Hodges as a second choice (though he would continue his campaign if no candidate picked up the party endorsement).

The fire union has been openly critical of Hodges throughout the campaign, so Lakosky says he felt betrayed. "I went off," he says. "I'm like, 'Politics or not, how could you tell anybody to go to Hodges knowing what she's done to us, and her position against this fire department?'"

Lakosky continues: "I told him, 'F that Gary, you can't do that. You know what she is to us. You know her position against us.'"

Lakosky unofficially announced the union's support for Andrew at the convention, and will make the endorsement official this week, he says.

"Good luck to Gary and whatever he's doing," says Lakosky.

Schiff didn't return a request for comment this morning.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Schiff didn't have enough votes to pass the second round of voting.

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