Pennsylvania Could Decide Bush-Kerry Race, Other Races Focus on Abortion
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
September 20, 2004
Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) — The swing state of Pennsylvania could prove to be a powerful voice in this year’s Presidential election.
National polls show President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry running neck-and-neck in the Keystone state. The candidates, their spouses, and their children have been crisscrossing the Commonwealth, hoping to capture Pennsylvania’s all-important electoral votes.
The presidential contest is the top priority for pro-life leaders in Pennsylvania, who want to ensure that their state sides with Bush on November 2nd.
"Throughout his political career, Senator Kerry’s extreme position on the life issues shows his commitment to entrench a culture of death in America that would leave a blight on our nation that would be hard to eradicate," said Mary Beliveau, political action committee director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.
Beliveau added, "It’s obvious that NARAL’s agenda is John Kerry’s agenda."
In the race for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, incumbent Republican Arlen Specter, who supports legal abortion, faces a challenge from Democratic Congressman Joe Hoeffel, who also approves of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.
A third party candidate, Jim Clymer of the Constitution Party, has identified himself as pro-life, but political analysts say he has little chance of winning because of his minor party
status and lack of name recognition.
The state’s "rowhouse races" — the contests for Attorney General, Auditor General, and Treasurer — are considered critical because they can serve as stepping stones to higher office.
The Attorney General’s race pits pro-life attorney Tom Corbett, a Republican, against pro-abortion candidate Jim Eisenhower, a Democrat.
Eisenhower is considered staunchly pro-abortion. He has been quoted as saying, "We need an Attorney General coming from a very strong ethical position that a woman’s right to choose is an important constitutional right, and that is how I will interpret the law."
But, Beliveau says its not the job of the state’s top attorney to interpret the law.
"In fact, it is the statutory duty of the Attorney General to defend a law duly enacted by the people of the state through their elected representatives in Harrisburg," Beliveau explained.
In the Auditor General’s race, both candidates — Democrat Jack Wagner and Republican Joe Peters — have adopted pro-life positions.
But, the state Treasurer’s contest features an interesting twist. It is Democrat, Bob Casey Jr., who is pro-life, while Republican Jean Craige Pepper refuses to answer questions on the issue of abortion.
Among the pro-life candidates running for re-election to Congress is Republican Melissa Hart, sponsor of Laci and Conner’s Law, legislation that ensures that unborn children are considered crime victims when federal acts of violence are committed against their pregnant mothers.
The bill is nicknamed in honor of Laci Peterson and her unborn son Conner, who were killed in California in a well-publicized murder case.
According to her campaign website, Hart is the first Republican woman to ever represent Pennsylvania in either house of Congress.
Meanwhile, in the 8th congressional district, pro-life Republican Mike Fitzpatrick faces pro-abortion Democrat Ginny Schrader in a crucial contest. They are vying to replace pro-abortion Republican Jim Greenwood, who has led the fight to pay for destructive embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer dollars.
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