Published : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 4:57 AM
The Pasadena Firefighters Association announced earlier this week that they are endorsing District 5 City Councilmember Victor Gordo for Mayor.
“The Pasadena Firefighters Association is proud to endorse a dedicated public safety advocate like Victor Gordo for Mayor because he understands the integral role that firefighters play in our public safety system,” said PFFA President Scott Austin.
Gordo is currently facing off against Mayor Terry Tornek, who is seeking a second term, newcomer Major Williams and Jason Hardin, who also ran for mayor in 2015.
The firefighters conducted interviews for the endorsement Oct. 17.
It is not known if Tornek, Williams or Hardin sought the endorsement.
The mayoral candidates will square off in the March 3 election. City Clerk Mark Jomsky is expected to introduce a resolution calling for the election at Monday’s City Council meeting.
In order to win the March election candidates must win more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate reaches that benchmark the two candidates with the most votes will square off in a run-off election.
The election will also include an initiative that would allow 24 cannabis operators that have been deemed illegal operators to open shops in the city, in spite of a city ordinance mandating a maximum of six cannabis shops.
Cannabis, along with housing costs and new developments could all be issues in the mayoral race.
In 2015, the PFFA endorsed then District 1 Councilmember Jacque Robinson, who eventually lost the race to Tornek in a run-off election.
Robinson has opened an exploratory committee and is considering seeking the office again.
Due to the City Charter which mandates the mayoral election be held the same year as City Council seats in District 1, 2, 4 and 6 Robinson was forced to give up her seat to enter the mayor’s race.
Gordo’s council seat is not up in this election, which means he will remain on the City Council even if he is unsuccessful in his mayoral bid.
Gordo was the last candidate to enter the race so far when he announced his candidacy earlier this month, but his entrance into the race immediately shook things up when he announced that popular former Mayor Bill Bogaard is serving as his campaign treasurer and co-chair.
Bogaard, who served as Pasadena’s mayor from 1999–2015, was the first directly elected mayor of Pasadena since the 1940s and is the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.
The last time a challenger defeated an incumbent in Pasadena for any elected position was back in 1987 when former Mayor Bill Paparian defeated Jo Heckman for a seat on the Board of City Directors, which became the City Council in 1997.
Unseating Tornek could be a tough challenge. In 2015 he walked the city twice as he knocked on doors seeking votes.
The candidates cannot pull official running papers until Nov. 12. Mayoral candidates must be registered to vote in Pasadena and live in the city.
Candidates must collect 50 signatures from local residents registered to vote in Pasadena and pay a $25 fee to qualify as a candidate. All papers must be returned to the City Clerk by 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6.
“We know that our firefighters can count on Victor to fight for the equipment, resources, and staffing necessary to keep our local neighborhoods safe, because he’s done so time and time again on the Pasadena City Council, standing up for the brave women and men who have devoted their lives to protecting our communities,” Austin said. “We are proud to stand with Victor in his campaign, and look forward to helping him get elected Mayor of our city.”