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Union endorsement heats up mayoral debate

[VIDEO] Evanston mayoral candidates Stuart Opdycke and Elizabeth Tisdahl clashed yesterday over Tisdahl’s endorsement by the firefighters union.

The union met with all four candidates in the race, but ended up providing a $500 contribution and help distributing campaign literature to Tisdahl.

Opdycke said it was a conflict of interest for any candidate to take money and help from a union that will be negotiating pay and benefits agreements for city workers.

But Tisdahl denied she’d made any promises to the firefighters, other than trying to see that their pensions were funded to the levels required by state law.

The issue arose during a candidate forum sponsored by the Evanston League of Women Voters and held at the Norris Center at Northwestern University

During the session all four candidates said they had rejected approaches from a regional real estate agents’ group — with none seeking the group’s endorsement, and only one agreeing to fill out its candidate questionnaire.

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