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Ferrer Picks Up Endorsement From State Government Workers

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TWC News: Ferrer Picks Up Endorsement From State Government Workers
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Democratic candidate for mayor Fernando Ferrer picked up another endorsement Friday, this one from the state's Public Employee Federation union.

The labor union, which represents 52,000 government workers, says it is backing Ferrer because of his support for working families.

The group says more than 200 of its jobs have been pushed out to other parts of the state.

"We have challenges that we have to face," said PEF regional vice president Jemma Marie Hanson. "We are losing jobs left and right in this city, and we know that he's going to work for us to keep these jobs here."

"These 200 jobs have real faces in front of them," said Ferrer. "They are bread winners of real New York City families and they will have lost their abilities to provide for their families right here in the city."

The union says it is also counting on Ferrer to help make sure their workers are included in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

At Friday's endorsement event, the Democratic nominee was hit over and over again with questions from reporters regarding one topic; the subway terror threat Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced just an hour and a half before Thursday night’s debate. Reporters wanted to know if Ferrer believed Bloomberg was simply trying to change the focus away from the debate.

“I prefer to believe that the timing was completely coincidental,” said Ferrer. “When you are talking about a security threat on our mass transit system that could affect millions of New Yorkers, any threat has to be treated seriously. The mayor and the police commissioner will have an opportunity to explain to New Yorkers.”

But Ferrer did not completely answer the question, instead preferring let reporters ask Bloomberg some tough questions about the terror alert.

Like the mayor, Ferrer also rode the subway on Friday. He also officially received the backing of Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum.

There was one moment where Ferrer showed he can be testy when pushed. The Bloomberg camp is looking to make hay over Ferrer's answer regarding the death penalty during the debate, asking in a press: “In last night's debate, why did it take Freddy Ferrer nine seconds to answer yes or no to whether he supports the death penalty? Because it took him one second to remember each of his five positions.”

“I’ll ask Mayor Bloomberg a question: Does he not believe Osama Bin Laden should face the death penalty, a self-confessed mass murderer and terrorist?” Ferrer responded. “Get back to me with the answer.”

In September, Ferrer picked up an endorsement from the Health Care Workers' Union. He's also been endorsed by Reverend Al Sharpton and Senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.

Ferrer and Bloomberg will debate, but not until three weeks from now. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP