SEN. Harris Wofford accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for a special November election, vowing to keep Pennsylvania's job market strong and to fight the Bush administration's proposal for a free-trade agreement with Mexico. The weekend endorsement of the 277 members voting at the nominating convention of the Democratic State Committee was unanimous and spirited.
``I'll fight as hard as I can against this administration's attempt to make American companies compete with companies in Mexico, where environmental laws are unenforced and corporations are free to profit from pollution and pesticides,'' said Senator Wofford, who was state secretary of labor and industry before being appointed to the Senate less than a month ago. He fills the seat of the late Sen. John Heinz.
``I'll fight as hard as I can against this administration's attempt to force wages in Monessen [Pa.] down to the level of wages in Matamoros,'' he said.
Wofford, a lawyer, educator, and civil rights activist, also criticized President Bush's plan to give favored trading status to China.
Wofford may face US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh in November, but the former governor is keeping his party guessing as to whether or not he'll run.
The Republican State Committee is schedule to choose its nominee June 15.
Mr. Thornburgh hails from western Pennsylvania, as did Heinz. Key Republicans have called Wofford unelectable because he is from the Philadelphia area, as is the state's other senator, Republican Arlen Specter.
In his acceptance speech, Wofford also attacked corrupt S&L officials, toxic-waste dumpers, and the corporate criminals.
Democratic State Committee chairman Lawrence Yatch said Wofford's status as incumbent senator will help him in November. He says Thornburgh's record is a liability.