Former Republican state Sen. Barbara Lorman has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, denouncing Republican candidate John McCain's negative campaign.
Lorman, a Ft. Atkinson resident who represented the 13th Senate District for 14 years, said in a phone interview that she tends to agree with former Secretary of State Colin Powell -- who also endorsed Obama -- about McCain's campaign tactics.
"I don't like negative campaigning," she said. "It has a positive effect for candidates some times, but I think they should be able to get along without it. Candidates should be scrupulously truthful."
Lorman served in the state Senate from 1980 to 1994, and was the first female Republican state senator in Wisconsin. She ultimately lost a primary race to Scott Fitzgerald, a more conservative Republican who was endorsed by an anti-abortion group.
Negative campaigning was not the only reason for her endorsement of Obama. She also cited McCain's age and his selection of a vice presidential candidate whom Lorman regards as unqualified.
"I am 76. I'm pretty smart, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate for someone about my age to run for president," she said.
"And I certainly would not put my trust in Sarah Palin. She is a terrible choice because she is not qualified, and the vice president is a heartbeat away. She may be a fast learner, but that is not enough to be president of the United States."
Lorman regards Obama's credentials as impressive and said, "His intellect should go a long way toward making up for any lack of experience."
Her endorsement came after she made a small donation to the Obama campaign and a campaign official contacted her.
"That tells me something about their thoroughness," Lorman said.