PA. GOVERNOR Republican rival supports Ed Rendell



Barbara Hafer praised Ed Rendell's work as mayor of Philadelphia.
By LAURE CIOFFI
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- In her early bid to become governor, Republican Barbara Hafer found herself agreeing with many points made by Democratic contender Ed Rendell.
Hafer, who later dropped out of the race, is now campaigning across Pennsylvania for her former opponent. New Castle was among her stops Monday.
"I think he's the fellow that fits the bill in western Pennsylvania," Hafer said after arriving at city hall on a big blue bus with Rendell's likeness on it.
Hafer, in her second term as state treasurer, also served two terms as state auditor.
Hopes for others
The Pittsburgh native thinks her support of Rendell will give other Republicans courage to do the same. "It gives people pause, and then they have to evaluate the candidates again," she said.
Hafer said Republican candidate Mike Fisher isn't the right man for the job. "I don't disrespect Mike Fisher. He's a decent attorney general, and that's where he needs to stay," she said.
Hafer touted Rendell's record as Philadelphia's mayor to a crowd of about 20 Democrats.
"When Ed Rendell became mayor of Philadelphia, it was bankrupt, it was dirty. After his election he said he wasn't for Republicans or Democrats or city people or suburbanites, but for everyone. He built hotels, buildings and roads," she said, adding that he can do the same for the state.
No switch
She has agreed to be part of Rendell's transition team if he is elected, but she declined an offer to switch parties and become part of his administration. She's also prepared for any repercussions from her party for backing the Democrat.
"I'm a proud Republican. I'm also an independent thinker," she said.

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