Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Term Limits: FOP Looking for Hopefuls

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Term Limits: FOP Looking for Hopefuls

Article excerpt

Jacksonville's police union is looking for some good candidates

to replace city officials who will be booted from office by term

limits.

The Fraternal Order of Police is even considering advertising

for people to run in the 1999 elections, when 12 of 19 City

Council seats will be open.

The idea of running an ad came up in a recent discussion among

FOP leaders about the impact of term limits on city government.

The general thinking is term limits will bring lot of changes,

and the union wants to be ready, said John Pialorsi, the FOP's

business agent.

"We just want to know who may have their finger on the lever

but just hasn't pushed it yet," he said.

Rather than wait to see who signs up for those open seats, FOP

leaders are considering taking the more pro-active approach to

find out early who's interested in running and what they

represent.

"We can't sit back and wait for the candidates to come to us,"

Pialorsi said.

The FOP wants to know which potential candidates are interested

in the union's endorsement. They want to find out which ones

support the FOP platform.

The FOP's endorsement is generally considered one of the most

important for local candidates. Winning that endorsement adds a

"law-and-order" seal of approval to a candidate's resume.

FOP leaders also plan to meet with elected officials to talk

about their plans for seeking other offices.

The police aren't the only ones looking ahead to the 1999 city

elections. Some Northeast Florida Builders Association leaders

have been talking to potential candidates and analyzing various

races.

"I've seen some nuts and I've seen some great people," said

Curtis Hart, a past president of the builders association. "I

saw some people that I immediately started praying about,

praying that they won't get into office. …

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