Former Pennsylvania Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is endorsing State Sen. Dan Laughlin for re-election.
“Erie has a long and proud tradition of supporting commonsense, bipartisan leaders. Dan Laughlin fits that mold. He gets things done and I am pleased to support him,” Ridge said in a written statement.
Among Laughlin’s accomplishments, Ridge cited the first-term state senator’s success in saving Erie’s public schools from insolvency.
“When the district of the City of Erie was in serious economic peril, Dan secured an additional $14 million per year to fill the gap,” Ridge said.
He also cited Laughlin’s quick response to the Harris Day Care fire of 2019.
“Dan investigated the tragedy and introduced tightened safety regulations to make certain tragedy would be avoided in the future,” Ridge said.
Ridge added that as chairman of the National Organization on Disability, he was grateful that Laughlin “took the lead to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including autism, could provide admissible testimony in our courts without being required to appear in the courtroom.”
Ridge represented Erie County in Congress for six terms before being elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 1994. His second term was interrupted when then-President George W. Bush tapped him to serve as the first Secretary of Homeland Security the day following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Today, Laughlin called Ridge’s endorsement “a deeply satisfying vote of confidence from a bona fide Erie hero. From his combat service in Vietnam to his days standing in the frontlines in the War on Terror, Tom Ridge has been the gold standard for public service in our community, our state and our nation. I’m proud to have his support.”