Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a moderate Republican, Thursday endorsed conservative champion Pat Toomey for the Senate, praising Toomey's record of fighting for tax cuts and limited government.

Ridge, who also served as the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, was recruited last year  to challenge Toomey in the primary by some state GOP moderates who feared that the former Lehigh Valley congressman was too conservative to win a general election. Ridge declined.

The endorsement is testament to Toomey's ability to unite disparate elements of the party since then.

Ridge, at the endorsement event in State College, said that he and Toomey are of one mind on the need to slow federal spending.

"Pat is someone who understands and appreciates the fact that the market is imperfect, but in spite of its imperfections, it's a far better means of generating wealth and opportunity and jobs than growing the business of government," Ridge said, according to the Centre Daily Times.