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Police union makes surprise endorsement in race for SA mayor

Union endorses mayor after several strained years during contract negotiations

SAN ANTONIO – A surprise endorsement Wednesday for Mayor Ivy Taylor as she seeks re-election.

The mayor garnered the support of the San Antonio Police Officers Association over her opponent City Councilman Ron Nirenberg.

"We're here today to announce our endorsement of Mayor Ivy Taylor," said Mike Helle, president of SAPOA. "I think she's going to do great and wonderful things for our city and make us prosperous."

This endorsement comes despite a long history between Taylor and Helle of going back and forth on negotiations.

WATCH: San Antonio Mayoral runoff debate

"I believe we have a great partnership," Taylor said. "We're looking forward to continuing to address the key issues so we can drive down crime rates in San Antonio. We all know that crime has risen in most major American cities. San Antonio has not been immune."

Helle also said that Nirenberg wanted to reopen the contract negotiations.

“The opponent has already said he wants to reopen our contract and start hashing and slashing, redlining and cutting benefits for pay and for police officers in their benefits," Helle said.

RELATED: Accountability, budget reasons council members to vote against police union contract

After hearing the news, the councilman denied the claim, saying it's not true and that he looks forward to working with SAPOA.

Nirenberg was one of two city councilmembers to vote against the new deal signed in 2016.

“We have to make sure that we are not negotiating through press conferences and press releases, especially two weeks before a runoff election, where it seems like the mayor is finally interested in talking about a violent crime rate that's the highest it's been in a generation," Nirenberg said. "We have to get to working with each other in good faith."

Early voting begins on May 30 and Election Day is June 10.

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