So it’s not just Irvine City Council candidate Jeff Lalloway who’s OK with signing an anti-union pledge, then knocking on the doors of police and fire unions and asking for their support.

Rancho Santa Margarita City Council candidate Jesse Petrilla, Irvine City Council candidate Lynn Schott and Irvine mayoral candidate Christopher Gonzales also signed the pledge, which calls public employee unions a “corrupting influence.” Then they sat down with an official of the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association with the hopes of earning an endorsement.

Petrilla and Schott made the same argument as Lalloway, saying they were just trying to build relationships with the unions because they’ll have to deal with them if they win council seats.

“I never expected them to endorse me,” Petrilla said.

GOP Chairman Scott Baugh said the point of the pledge is to stop a trend of Republican elected officials voting for pension plans that the party considers unsustainable.

Baugh called the edict a “time out” to address union influence. He also said union leaders were threatening Republican officials with axing financial support if they voted against union interests.

“Because of those threats, we decided to make a policy where we said, ‘Hey, listen: If you stand up against them, we will stand with you,’” Baugh said.

Baugh and the candidates say police and firefighters are still Republican friends despite the pledge.

“Cops are firefighters are traditional allies — but the labor behind them are not,” Petrilla said.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

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