The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police has voted to endorse Democrat Sherrod Brown for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
The endorsement was made Tuesday by delegates attending the Ohio FOP's 78th annual conference in Independence, Ohio. Brown is being opposed by Republican Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel.
According to the Brown campaign, this was the FOP's first endorsement of a Democrat for the U.S. Senate in 24 years, the last one being Sen. Howard Metzenbaum in 1988.
The FOP is Ohio's largest police organization and it represents 25,000 active and retired law enforcement officers.
"Senator Brown was one of our strongest allies in the fight against SB 5/Issue 2," said FOP President Jay McDonald. "He is also one of the strongest supporters of law enforcement issues in the United States Senate and our members of the FOP in Ohio are proud to stand with Senator Brown for his re-election."
Brown said he was honored by the endorsement.
"I was proud to stand with the FOP last year as we fought against Senate Bill 5, an egregious attack on our courageous police officers that Ohioans roundly rejected," he said.
Senate Bill 5, enacted in early 2011 when it was signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich, aimed to reduce public employee unions' power in collective bargaining. Supporters said it evened the bargaining playing field between state and local government and school boards and their employee unions. It was voted down as Issue 2 when union opponents and Democrats raised enough signatures to get it on the ballot in November, 2011.