by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 18, 2004
LifeNews.com Note: This is the thirteenth in a series of articles covering the 2004 elections state by state from the pro-life viewpoint.
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio has become a key state for the upcoming November elections, not only for its status as an important swing state in the Presidential election, but because it has both U.S. House and Senate seats that could change hands.
In few other states is the presidential battle has hard fought has it has been in Ohio.
Polls show a very close race and both President Bush and John Kerry have visited the state numerous times. Ohio has been won by the winning presidential candidate since 1964 and the 2004 election looks to be no different.
Meanwhile, pro-life Senator George Voinovich (R) is defending his seat against state Senator Eric Fingerhut, who had a pro-abortion voting record while he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Former mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio, Voinovich has not only the name recognition but also the financial advantage over his opponent.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Voinovich has spent $2.9 million on his campaign compared to the $305,000 spent by Fingerhut. In the latest reporting period, Voinovich raised $903,000 while Fingerhut raised only $245,000.
"This shows that he has support from Ohioans to go back to the Senate," spokeswoman Marcie Ridgway told the Associated Press.
While several House of Representatives incumbents are pro-life, one is facing a particularly difficult challenge.
"The only pro-life incumbent who appears to be facing a serious challenge is in District 14 where incumbent Republican Steve LaTourette is facing Democrat Capri Cafaro," explained Mark Lally, Legislative Counsel for Ohio Right to Life.
During his five terms in the Congress, LaTourette has maintained a pro-life voting record. His challenger, Cafaro, is a 26-year-old heiress who has personally loaned $1.15 million to her own campaign.
When not considering her own financial assets, however, Cafaro loses the slight edge she has on LaTourette – while he has raised $1.7 million throughout his campaign, Cafaro has raised $1.84 million, although her personal contributions comprise over 60 percent of her campaign budget.
Therefore, more of LaTourette appears to have greater support from Ohioans, although he has expressed concern during an interview with the Associated Press that Cafaro may "try to buy [the] seat."
No longer in the running as a presidential candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is now attempting to hold on to his seat in Congress, despite a pro-life challenger.
"Kucinich abandoned his pro-life voting record when he decided to run for the Democratic nomination for President," Lally told LifeNews.com. "He even voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
"Kucinich is opposed by Ed Herman, a young pro-life Republican," Lally explained. "Although Herman has the support of pro-life groups, he faces a tough task in trying to overcome the name recognition that Kucinich, a former mayor, has built up in years in Cleveland politics."