SIOUX CITY | A pro-business organization and a handful of local labor unions representing city workers have endorsed candidates running in Tuesday's Sioux City Council election.
The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce announced it is backing incumbents Dan Moore, Pete Groetken and Alex Watters.
Also backing the incumbents is Local 7 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents more than 100 Sioux City Fire Rescue unionized members.
Affiliated Sioux City Municipal Employee Union Local 212 AFSCME/Iowa Council 61, which represents more than 350 unionized workers including the city's operations, field services, technical and clerical staff, has endorsed Moore and challenger Denny Quinn.
In a news release, the Siouxland Chamber stated its endorsement is based on personal interviews with each candidate, a recommendation by its Good Government Committee, ratification by its executive committee and a vote of the board of directors.
Firefighter union president Leonard Kraker said his union's endorsement comes by a vote of the membership and is based on the candidates' ability to listen and research concerns presented by union members.
"We feel those three candidates have always in the past and will in the future continue to truly listen to us and let us present our side," Kraker said.
AFSCME Local 212 President Chris De Harty said the union's endorsements are based on conversations with the candidates, including several with Moore in the weeks after the Council's 4-0 vote to contract management of the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre out to Spectra, a Philadelphia-based firm.
"He's worked with me constantly ever since this Tyson Events Center deal," De Harty said. "We've been on the phone constantly trying to see what we can do for the employees, trying to save city workers."
Moore, Groetken, Watters and Rhonda Capron voted for the Spectra option, while Mayor Bob Scott abstained.
De Harty said Quinn has also been pro-union and wants to cut down on contracting out services where possible.
Six candidates are vying for three open seats on the council. Incumbents Groetken, Watters and Moore are running against challengers Quinn, Jake Jungers and Doug Waples.