Former Gov. Tom Ridge before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf takes the oath of office for his second term, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Former Gov. Tom Ridge
Former Gov. Tom Ridge before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf takes the oath of office for his second term, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ridge said in a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed that he believes Biden “has the experience and empathy necessary” to handle the coronavirus pandemic, social injustice, income inequality and immigration reform.

Former Republican Gov. Tom Ridge plans to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in November.

“I urge my fellow Pennsylvanians to join me,” Ridge said in an op-ed published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security, has been an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump since Trump first announced his candidacy for office in 2015.

Ridge said the last four years have proven that Trump cannot lead.

Biden, on the other hand, “has the experience and empathy necessary to help us navigate not only the pandemic, but also other issues that have fractured our nation, including social injustice, income inequality and immigration reform,” Ridge wrote.

Ridge said he does not agree with many of Biden’s policies, but he is concerned about the state of the nation and the Republican Party under Trump.

“What matters to me is that the core group of conservative principles I held as a young man when I cast my first vote decades ago are with me today. They are the same principles exhorted by my party’s forebears — Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan,” Ridge wrote. “Those principles have been indispensible to me in deciding to extend my hand of support to Joe Biden, who I believe absolutely must be America’s next president.”