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Fisher enthusiastic and determined in rally on the steps of the Blair County Courthouse

After spending a busy day in the eastern region of Pennsylvania visiting with President George W. Bush, Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial nominee Mike Fisher held a rally for Blair County supporters on the steps of the Blair County Courthouse in Hollidaysburg Tuesday evening.
With a great number of elected officials in attendance and many supporters from Blair County, Attorney General Fisher spoke enthusiastically and displayed his strong determination to become the next governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Wayne Hippo, co-coordinator for the Fisher campaign in Blair County, Republican Committee vice chairman and Altoona city councilman, introduced Fisher just as excitingly and confidently as Fisher’s appearance during the rally.
“This election should be about, quite frankly, leadership,” said Hippo. “This election has to be about leadership, it has to be about values, and in Mike Fisher we have a proven leader. It’s my honor to introduce the next governor of Pennsylvania.”
Hippo reminded the crowd of the serious drug problem Altoona faced five years ago with drugs and drug dealers coming in and bringing a different level of crime than what Altoona ever had witnessed.
“Does anybody remember five years ago where those drug dealers were coming from?” asked Hippo to those in attendance. “Frankly, I think Blair County has had enough imports from Philadelphia right now.”
Fisher was Attorney General and had many innovative ideas to address Altoona and Blair County’s drug problem. Hippo spoke of Fisher’s creation of the drug task force and how he worked and fought to fund it, then to even prosecute the tough cases through his own office. He was also responsible for putting undercover agents within the Altoona Area School District to make drug related arrests.
Fisher led the charge against drugs in Altoona and without Fisher, it’s hard to tell where Altoona would be right now. Hippo emphasized that Fisher has been in Blair County and will remember Blair County when elected as governor.
Hippo stated, “Those types of innovative ideas, I say, demonstrates that he’s the man capable of bringing innovation to anything he does. He has experience in the statewide office, he’s handled statewide budgets, he knows communities statewide, and with that type of leadership, there’s no question he’d be a great governor.”
Fisher confidently spoke at the podium and stated to the listeners that they were the ones that will make the difference on election day, emphasizing the governor’s race will depend on voter turnout. He thanked John Urban, the newly elected chairperson of the Blair County Republican Committee for bringing everybody together for the rally.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do in Blair County, particularly in the city of Altoona,” said Fisher. “I pledge to you, as much as I’ve done as attorney general, we’re going to do even more to improve the quality of life in this region as the next governor of Pennsylvania.”
Fisher hit on key plans and issues that he will concentrate on once elected governor, such as wanting to keep jobs and young people in Pennsylvania, the property tax issue, his plans for senior citizens and prescription drugs, and the funds that will be generated from slot machines at race tracks to aid the need for lower prices on prescription drugs.
He also touched on the gun issue and protecting the second amendment for the people of Pennsylvania, along with better education for young people, and how he cares for all of Pennsylvania.
What issues are going to put Fisher in office come election day?
“I think taxes, some of the values, and some of the issues on guns and abortion will put us ahead,” said Fisher. “We really need to do something to reduce the number of abortions in this state; 37,000 abortions a year is too many. Also, I stand shoulder to shoulder with the sportsmen across the state with defending their rights to bear arms. My opponent is trying to take guns away.”
Fisher continued, “But overall, it’s going to be the pocketbook issue, because people are going to say ‘we can’t afford Ed Rendell’ because Ed Rendell is committed to so many new spending programs – programs that are going to increase our taxes by as much as 50 percent, and the people of Pennsylvania can’t afford that.”
Fisher supporters in Blair County share the same views and want the same issues addressed in the state government, and they openly showed their willingness to cast their vote for Fisher as Governor of Pennsylvania with their gestures and cheers, wearing campaign stickers, holding up signs and posters, and making verbal statements.
One local Tyrone supporter, William Fink, who is a transportation security counselor and retired federal security manager of the Federal Aviation Administration at Washington Dulles International Airport, said that Fisher has stepped up to the plate on a number of issues including taxes and the opportunity for people to own and use firearms safely.
“I think Fisher will, here, shortly become more involved on the issue of homeland security and the safety of the people in Pennsylvania to assure the people in Pennsylvania that this government will not tolerate the kind of things that are going on down in the Washington D.C. area,” said Fink.
He added, “I believe Fisher is going to be out in the front here shortly and make Rendell wish he had stepped up to the plate on that issue.”
Fisher supporter Shirley Smith, a 76 year-old Hollidaysburg resident, likes what Fisher stands for and thinks experience is the key issue that will be the driving force behind Fisher winning the election.
“What’s important to me is that Fisher has experience in the government of Pennsylvania, and his opponent has no experience in working with the state — he just has a limited experience of being mayor of Philadelphia,” said Smith.
She continued, “I lived right outside of Philadelphia for a number of years and I was not impressed with the things that I saw going on within the city, and I just don’t think Rendell has the background to be governor compared to Fisher who has a lot of experience within our state and knows our state.”
Fisher’s experience does give him the edge in the governor’s race, at least according to voters here in Blair County.
“We had a big win here in 2000, and the people of Blair County, if they get out and they work hard, we win this election,” said Fisher.
He noted, “It’s counties like Blair, Huntingdon, Somerset and Cambria, this is the heartland of Pennsylvania, this is the area that is going to turn the election in our direction.”