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NRL News
Page 4
June 2010
Volume 37
Issue 6

Primaries, Runoffs, and Special Elections Foreshadow Changes in Congress

By Karen Cross

The crucially important 2010 primary election season is proving to be extremely challenging and busy. As of June 8, there have been twenty-five primary elections, five special elections, and three runoffs, with many more to follow before the November 2 general election. It is a very competitive election cycle, with an unusually high number of candidates running for Congress, and with top political analysts moving more races into “toss up” categories each week.

U.S. Senate

Nevada’s June 8 Republican primary was a tightly contested race with all three of the top contenders pro-life. Former assemblywoman Sharron Angle won and will challenge pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). Reid was the primary author of the recently passed health care legislation back by President Obama, which contained major problems related to abortion policy and included components that will result in government-imposed rationing of lifesaving medical treatments.

When Reid wrote his health bill, he rejected language that already had been adopted by a big bipartisan majority in the House to prevent federal subsidies for abortion, and he substituted language that would result in federal subsidies for abortion coverage,” said National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “This is typical of Reid who for many years has cast occasional pro-life votes for political camouflage when his vote was not decisive, but who has been a major ally to the pro-abortion lobby on big issues.”

In California Carly Fiorina (R), who refers to herself as “proudly pro-life,” defeated pro-abortion former Rep. Tom Campbell in a three-way primary. She will take on pro-abortion Senator Barbara Boxer (D), who has been in the Senate since 1993.

In Pennsylvania, pro-life former Congressman Pat Toomey (R) will run against pro-abortion Congressman Joe Sestak (D) to replace pro-abortion Senator Arlen Specter (D), whom Sestak defeated in the May 18 primary.

In Indiana, pro-abortion Senator Evan Bayh (D) is retiring. The nominees for the open seat are pro-life former Senator Dan Coats (R) and Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D). Ellsworth voted for the Obama-Reid health care legislation.

Pro-life former Congressman Rob Portman (R) and pro-abortion Lt. Governor Lee Fisher (D) will square off in Ohio for the seat being vacated by pro-life Senator George Voinovich.

In Kentucky, pro-life candidate Rand Paul won the Republican nomination for the seat being vacated by retiring pro-life Senator Jim Bunning (R). Paul’s opponent will be pro-abortion Attorney General Jack Conway (D).

In Arkansas, pro-abortion Senator Blanche Lincoln (D) defeated pro-abortion Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D) in a June 8 runoff, and will face pro-life Congressman John Boozman (R) in the general election.

In North Dakota, pro-life Governor John Hoeven (R) will vie with pro-abortion State Senator Tracy Potter (D) for the seat being vacated by three-term pro-abortion Senator Byron Dorgan (D).

On May 3, three-term pro-life Senator Robert Bennett was defeated at the Utah Republican Party’s nominating convention. A June 22 runoff between pro-life candidates Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater will determine the Republican nominee. The winner will meet Sam Granato (D).

In Florida, a three-way race has developed for the Senate seat currently held by retiring pro-life Senator George LeMieux (R). Originally pro-life Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio (R) and Governor Charlie Crist (R) were slated to face each other in the Republican primary, but when polls showed Rubio pulling well ahead, Crist announced that he will appear on the November ballot as an independent. (As NRL News went to press, Crist vetoed a pro-life ultrasound bill approved by the legislature, saying that it “almost seems mean-spirited.”) The Democrats are expected to nominate pro-abortion Congressman Kendrick Meek for the seat.

U.S. House of Representatives

In West Virginia’s First Congressional District, 14-term Congressman Alan Mollohan was defeated by pro-life State Senator Mike Oliverio. Oliverio was endorsed by National Right to Life PAC after Mollohan voted for the Obama-backed health care legislation. Oliverio’s Republican opponent, former state Delegate David McKinley, is also pro-life.

In Hawaii, pro-abortion Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D) gave up his First Congressional District seat to run for governor, and has been replaced by Republican Charles Djou, who has a mixed position, and who defeated two pro-abortion Democrats in a special election. Djou will face pro-abortion state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D) in the general election.


In Alabama, pro-abortion Congressman Artur Davis lost to State Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks in a June 1 primary for the Democratic nomination for governor. Sparks will face the winner of a July 13 Republican runoff between former state Senator Bradley Byrne and state Rep. Robert Bentley.

In South Carolina, a June 22 runoff will determine whether Rep. Gresham Barrett or State Representative Nikki Haley will win the Republican nomination to face Democrat Vince Sheehan in the November 2 balloting for governor.

While there are no grounds for complacency, developments in the political season to date give ample reason to hope that the November general election, now just five months away, will be a pivotal turning point for the country.