Another Casey on the Campaign Trail
By Carol Tobias, NRL PAC Director
Attempting to follow in his father's legendary footsteps, Bob Casey, Jr., is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Pennsylvania.
Pro-lifers fondly remember the unyielding pro-life convictions and staunch efforts of the late Bob Casey, Sr., who served as governor from 1987 to 1995. Casey was an eloquent and emphatic spokesman for unborn children, in turn encouraging, then castigating, the Democratic Party for not standing up for the innocent preborn babies.
His son, Bob Casey, Jr., won his first bid for office in 1996, winning election as auditor general. He was re-elected in 2000 by a record-setting margin for a Democrat running statewide in Pennsylvania.
Casey, who believes abortion should only be allowed if the mother's life is in danger, isn't shy about his pro-life convictions. At a debate sponsored by the Democratic Women's Caucus, Casey said that if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a bill to ban abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the mother, he would sign it, adding that "everyone here knows I'm pro-life."
Casey is in a tough, highly competitive race with former Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell for the Democratic nomination. Rendell, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election, ran for governor in 1986, but lost the primary to Bob Casey, Sr.
Rendell is as strongly pro-abortion as Casey is pro-life. Rendell's been rewarded with the endorsement of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).
Rendell has stated that he will "veto any bill that criminalizes abortion." He believes that "abortion is going to be an issue in 2002 because I believe the right to choose will be in danger....When [Bush] wins confirmation of a pro-life judge, that will allow states to criminalize abortion." In addition, Rendell supports changes to the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act to allow researchers to conduct stem cell research that would require the destruction of human embryos and would provide state money for the research.
The winner of the May 21 primary will face pro-life Republican Mike Fisher, currently attorney general. In 1996 Fisher was elected attorney general and was re-elected in 2000 by a margin of more than 500,000 votes, a modern-day record showing by a Republican running for statewide office in Pennsylvania.