Some Defectors From The Camp Of The Republican

Posted: November 01, 1990

When Republican Cheryl Lawson finished working for Republican Ellen Fisher, who was unsuccessful in the May primary against State Rep. Stephen Freind, she decided to continue her involvement.

She headed for the campaign office of Allen Polsky, the Democrat challenging Freind in the 166th District, and suggested they start a new group called Republicans for Polsky.

Now, a few months later, there are about 100 people in their ranks, and about half of them have Republicans for Polsky signs displayed on their lawns.

"People are really more apt to split the ticket this time," Lawson said. ''They are looking at Allen not as a big-spender Democrat, but more of a conservative Democrat and looking at Steve Freind as a Republican so entrenched . . . there needs to be a change."

"People will be working at the polls who are not afraid to say they are for Allen," said Lawson, a young mother and homemaker. "For a Republican to stand up and say I am a Republican for a Democrat, it is very brave."

Freind, however, said that crossing party lines was not unusual.

"We have always had tremendous support among Democrats," Freind said. ''If we wanted to play that game, we could have Democrats for Freind."

Freind said that with 10,000 constituent contacts a year, he had never checked out the party of the person he had helped.

"These are knowledgeable voters," Freind said. "They don't vote party lines. They vote for the person, and that's the way it should be. The mere fact you are Republican does not ensure victory, nor should it."

The pro-Polsky group, headed by Lawson and Mary Hanna, has been contacting other Republicans in Freind's district, urging them to vote for a Democrat on Tuesday.

Pat Donnelly, Polsky's campaign manager, said that the group had been working since a week after the primary.

She said there were more than 100 people on the list of Republicans willing to work for Polsky.

Said Hanna: "We have been sending out letters to Republicans because we feel strongly that Freind should be defeated. I don't think his record is very good. The only thing he has done in 14 years is push through five bills on reproductive rights and put rights of women at a man's whim. The only thing he is known for across the United States is that he is completely anti-choice."

Hanna, who owns Cable Advertising Coordinators in Ardmore, said that she had always been a Republican and would continue to be.

"I'll stay a Republican," Hanna said. "I just will continue to vote against Steve Freind."

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