by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 20, 2004
LifeNews.com Note: This is the fifteenth in a series of articles covering the 2004 elections state by state from the pro-life viewpoint.
Trenton, NJ (LifeNews.com) — New Jersey has become an important focus for the candidates in the Presidential election, but pro-life leaders in the state are also hoping to send a more pro-life representation to congress on November 2.
Only four of New Jersey’s 13 seats up for grabs this election are currently held by pro-life lawmakers.
Marie Tasy, New Jersey Right to Life Public and Legislative Affairs Director told LifeNews.com that in addition to keeping those seats, her group hopes to unseat Rep. Rush Holt (D) in the 12th District.
"As a trustee of the Mercer Area Chapter of Planned Parenthood, Rush recognizes that supporting a woman’s right to choose means opposing every effort to erode this fundamental right," states Holt’s website. "For his consistent support of a woman’s right to choose, Rush has earned 100% ratings from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL each year he has been in Congress."
Like most incumbents, Holt has raised more money than his opponent, Bill Spadea, Holt’s opponent who is the former chairman of the College Republicans.
Spadea has told the press he supports parental consent, opposes abortion, and joins President Bush in supporting adult stem cell research while opposing the destructive and unproven embryonic stem cell research.
"I support adult stem cell research because there is scientific evidence that is working," Spadea told the Trenton Times.
Pro-life veterans to the House of Representatives, Jim Saxton (R) and Chris Smith (R) are also facing re-election this November. Relative pro-life newcomers Frank LoBiondo (R) and Mike Ferguson (R) are also campaigning to hold onto their seats.
Smith, a longtime pro-life champion in Congress, is being challenged by pro-abortion candidate Amy Vasquez (D). Smith has held on to his seat in Congress for almost 25 years, and has often won by landslide 2-1 margins.
However, Vasquez is giving Smith a strong race and political observers say there is a slim chance she could topple the pro-life lawmaker.
Meanwhile, Democrat Steve Brozak was considered a prime candidate to topple pro-life Rep. Mike Ferguson. However, leading advocacy groups and Democratic campaign organizations are backing away saying they don’t think he can win.
New Jersey has been identified as one of eight "battleground" or "swing" states which could easily go to either candidate in the Presidential election, and could be the deciding factors of the race. With such an important role, New Jersey has become one of the targets of both President Bush and John Kerry in the last critical weeks of their campaigns.
In 2000, Al Gore captured 56 percent of the state’s votes, while President Bush managed only 40 percent.
However a new poll by Strategic Vision released Monday shows pro-abortion candidate John Kerry ahead of the president by a slim 45 to 43 percent margin.