HOUSTON (FOX 26) - It was the news Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins has been craving and the political fuel essential for a legitimate challenge of incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner.
First reported by Fox 26, the Houston Professional Firefighters Association offered its endorsement, calling Boykins a "natural, loyal leader, (who) does more than just talk about supporting public safety and fire fighters."
On the basketball court of a north side Boy's and Girl's Club Boykins laid out his fundamental mantra.
"I'm committed to the well-being of the people and not politics. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a public servant not a politician," said Boykins.
But it's certainly the politics of the on-going blood-feud between the Mayor and firefighters that triggered Boykins bid - the unwillingness of the Turner Administration to fully-fund voter approved pay parity without hundreds of first responder lay-offs and demotions.
With the Prop B debacle still mired in legal stalemate, Boykins says he'll settle the dispute within 30 days of taking office.
"There is no reason we are not at collective bargaining, no reason. The Mayor is being stubborn and there's no reason to be that way," said Boykins.
In the 2015 mayoral election, the firefighter’s union supported Turner's candidacy. Today the Mayor's re-election campaign declined comment on the union's endorsement of Boykins.
Mayoral candidates Bill King and Tony Buzbee issued statements.
"I understand that loyalty is important to firefighters and their decision today reflects that value. I continue to support an amicable resolution of the pay dispute so that firefighters receive the raises they deserve," said King.
"I have continually stated that I am not seeking campaign donations or actively seeking political endorsements. I will continue to support the firefighters regardless of the Union's endorsement. Our campaign has visited over 45 fire stations in Houston and we have enjoyed getting to know our first responders. I will continue to be their fiercest and most effective advocate. We don’t need donations or endorsements to win this election. Although this certainly will weaken Sylvester Turner’s chances to make a runoff, this won’t impact our campaign," said Buzbee.