By HOWARD FRANK
Pocono Record Writer
October 24, 2008
In the waning days of the campaign for Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district, Republican Lou Barletta not only leads in the polls, but also secured a symbolic endorsement Thursday from the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.
“I am proud to issue our endorsement of Lou Barletta. He has been a champion of law enforcement. Lou isn’t afraid to fight for what he believes in,” said Bruce Edwards, the association’s president.
Franklin & Marshall poll results announced last week showed Barletta up five points (40-35) over incumbent Democratic Congressman Paul Kanjorski. The point spread was narrower in a poll by Research 2000 with 400 likely voters interviewed between Oct. 6-8. The results were Barletta 43 and Kanjorski 39.
Edwards was joined by eight plainclothed troopers representing various local chapters in announcing the endorsement on the steps of the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton.
Edward told stories of crimes committed by undocumented workers in the United States illegally. “Respect for the law. That’s what our country stands for,” he said.
He explained that Barletta’s stance against illegal immigration, which garnered national attention, was part of what attracted the troopers to the Hazleton mayor. “We deal with illegal aliens on a daily basis. If we don’t deal with them here, they will be a problem somewhere else.”
A letter of endorsement issued by the association stated “Clearly, your experience as mayor and your efforts to stem the influx of illegal immigration in your city demonstrates your resolve in making Hazleton and Pennsylvania safe for our citizens.” Describing the association’s commitment to Barletta, Edwards said, “What he speaks is exactly what we believe as law enforcement officers. And he lives it, too.”
Barletta responded by praising the efforts of the troopers. “I understand the sacrifices law enforcement makes on a daily basis. No endorsement means more to me than the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Police,” Barletta said.
Reacting to the poll numbers pointing to his lead, Barletta added, “I’m humbled by the amount of support I’ve received.”
Currently, The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association has 8,100 active and retired members. The association endorses “candidates who have the best interest of Pennsylvania and its law enforcement community at heart. Continued