NEWBURYPORT — The Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts announced its support of challenger Robert Cronin in the November election for mayor. 

Cronin, currently the Ward 3 city councilor, will face off against incumbent Mayor Donna Holaday and Dr. Hazem Mahmoud in the preliminary election Sept.19, with the top two vote-getters moving on to compete in the municipal election Nov. 7.

Led by President Rich MacKinnon Jr., the union represents more than 12,000 firefighters who serve at both the state and local levels, including in Newburyport, according to a press release.

“It was an easy decision for the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts to endorse Bob Cronin for mayor of Newburyport,” MacKinnon said in the release Tuesday.

“As a city councilor, he has proven to be a strong leader that advocates for all he represents,” MacKinnon said. “Newburyport Firefighters, Local 827, speaks highly of the work Bob has done to ensure public safety for the citizens of Newburyport, and to protect the benefits for the firefighters and their families.”

Cronin expressed his gratitude for the organization’s backing, saying that he was honored to receive its support.

“Their support is a testament to our campaign’s commitment to defend the working-class families of Newburyport from Mayor Holaday’s shortsighted budget priorities,” Cronin said. “As mayor, I will always strive to balance the needs of our city’s working men and women with the needs of the taxpayers.”

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