by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 16, 2004
LifeNews.com Note: This is the ninth in a series of articles covering the 2004 elections state by state from the pro-life viewpoint.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — While a majority of voters in most states across the country are pro-life, Oregon has always been a difficult place for pro-life candidates to achieve victory in election contests. This election cycle is proving no different as pro-life candidates in the state face the normal uphill battle.
In the presidential contest, President Bush has been trailing pro-abortion Senator John Kerry by small margins during most of the campaign. The latest poll by American Research Group shows Kerry ahead by a 49 to 45 percent margin — the same five point spread between Gore and Bush in the 2000 election.
However, this time around, pro-abortion candidate Ralph Nader — who is popular in this progressive state — won’t be on the ballot to draw votes away from the Democrat. That will make it much more difficult for President Bush to take the state away from the Kerry column.
Meanwhile, voters in Oregon will have a clear choice this November when it comes to the U.S. Senate race. The contest pits pro-abortion incumbent Senator Ron Wyden (D) against pro-life candidate Al King (R).
On his campaign website, King, a former police officer, stresses his commitment to "family values" — including right-to-life issues.
King supports what he calls "the sanctity of all human life." He has said he opposes late-term abortions as well as all abortions that are not of "medical necessity."
King, who served as a municipal court judge in the late ‘90s, has received support from pro-life advocates while Wyden has been criticized for his zero percent pro-life rating. However, political observers say Wyden will likely win re-election.
Meanwhile, some Congressional contests have generated a great deal of interest among Oregon voters.
In the first Congressional district, Goli Ameri, a Republican who has a mixed stand on pro-life issues, faces pro-abortion incumbent David Wu. Wu has a 27 percent pro-life voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee. He’s also a staunch proponent of Oregon’s highly controversial assisted suicide law.
While Ameri differs with the Bush Administration on embryonic stem cell research — she supports it — the candidate backs abortion restrictions such as a 24-hour waiting period for abortion and provisions for parental notification.
Her opponent’s campaign manager, Cameron Johnson, told the Oregonian, “She’s (Ameri’s) very much tied to her party’s ideology and to President Bush." If elected, Ameri would be the first Iranian woman to serve in Congress.
A recent poll, however, shows Ameri trailing her opponent by a two-to-one margin.
Meanwhile, in the second Congressional district, the Democrat, John McColgan, is attempting to attract pro-life voters in his uphill battle against incumbent Republican Greg Walden, who has a 73 percent pro-life voting record.
McColgan, a homebuilder, devotes a rather lengthy section of his website to what he terms "life-affirming values."
"It is precisely because of the inherent value of each and every human life that all life deserves to be so highly defended,” McColgan states. "This conviction inspires me to speak up, not only in defense of a newly forming human being inside a womb, but with equal concern, for the child in Iraq who might be the innocent victim of a land mine, or the prisoner on death row whose actions cannot be excused but whose life should still be treated as precious"”
In the other three Congressional districts, pro-abortion incumbents are expected to cruise to victory.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio, and Darlene Hooley are all Democrats with 0% pro-life voting records.