Florida Senate Race Features Abortion Developments

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 5, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Senate Race Features Abortion Developments

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 5, 2003

Miami, FL (LifeNews.com) — On Friday, one candidate with a mixed record on abortion dropped out of the Senate race while a leading pro-abortion organization jumped in with an endorsement.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) announced on Friday that he is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination. Foley has a mixed voting record on abortion, drawing a 67 percent pro-life voting record during this session of Congress and only a 56 percent pro-life voting record last session, according to the National Right to Life Committee.

His withdrawal is good news for pro-life advocates in Florida who were worried a few pro-life candidates would split the vote, allowing Foley to capture the nomination.

"We’re pleased there is one less pro-abortion candidate in the running," Florida Right to Life president Robin Hoffman told LifeNews.com.

Foley’s decision means four pro-life Republicans will battle for the GOP nod, including state House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, state Sen. Daniel Webster, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum and U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon.

They are seeking the seat held by pro-abortion Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL). Graham is running for president and has not yet said whether he will run for re-election.

Meanwhile, the pro-abortion group Emily’s List has announced it is backing Betty Castor for the Democratic nomination.

The group endorses only female candidates and, in addition to supporting abortion, they must oppose a ban on partial-birth abortions and support taxpayer funding of abortion.

Castor receives the endorsement while running against other pro-abortion candidates. She faces U.S. Reps. Allen Boyd, Peter Deutsch and Alcee Hastings and Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas in the race for the Democratic nomination and all favor abortion.

Early polls show Castor is the best-known of the Democratic candidates, as a former state education commissioner and University of South Florida president. But she trails in fundraising. That’s where the pro-abortion endorsement will come in handy, as Emily’s List funnels millions of dollars to candidates it backs.