Organizational endorsements are important, elected officials say

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio mayoral candidate Leticia Van de Putte on Tuesday announced that she has received the endorsement of the San Antonio Police Officers Association.

For most elected officials, endorsements like that are a critical element in their run for office.

"They bring money and they also bring votes," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a veteran of both city and county campaigns, said. "Each organization (that is) active politically can bring both things. I don't know if that changes minds, but in elections, it's who shows up."

He said that beyond bringing money, organizations can be active with their members in getting voters to the polls.

Bexar County District Attorney Nicholas "Nico" LaHood agreed that endorsements are valuable. But he cautioned that an endorsement can be a double-edged sword.

"A group endorsement brings friends, but it also brings foes," LaHood said. "You're going to get the good with the bad."

During his campaign for district attorney last fall, LaHood was endorsed by members of the San Antonio Spurs.

"If a celebrity endorsement brings in first-time voters, then I think there is some value to that," LaHood said.

While he said they can be valuable if the organization's members are active in a campaign, County Commissioner Tommy Calvert diminished the value of endorsements.

"I don't think endorsements mean what they used to mean," Calvert said.

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