Nebraska Pro-Life Group Makes 2006 Primary Endorsements, Draws Heat

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 22, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nebraska Pro-Life Group Makes 2006 Primary Endorsements, Draws Heat Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 22, 2006

Lincoln NE ( — Nebraska’s statewide pro-life group has unveiled its endorsements for the 2006 primary elections, but not everyone is happy about who the group chose to support. In the governor’s race, Nebraska Right to Life’s PAC endorsed incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman.

That decision is drawing strong opposition from his opponents, Dave Nabity and Congressman Tom Osborne.

Julie Schmit-Albin, director of the pro-life group, said it chose to endorse Heineman because he is the incumbent and has gone to bat for the pro-life cause.

Pro-life groups traditionally support incumbents who stand up for life to reward them for sticking their necks out in a political world that doesn’t often reward such courage. But that’s not winning any converts with Nabity and Osborne.

Nabity says he is pro-life and would sign an abortion ban similar to the one South Dakota recently approved. He accused Right to Life of trying to "posture for political influence" with its endorsement.

"I think it is unfortunate that their organization doesn’t have a wide tent for all the candidates who are incredibly committed to the pro-life movement," he told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Osborne was also unhappy and pointed to his 100 percent pro-life voting record in Congress.

"My life is pretty much an open book in regard to my stance on pro-life issue," he told the Lincoln newspaper.

Schmit-Albin agreed that the other two candidates are pro-life, but said pro-life voters should stick with a governor who has a proven record. She said pro-life advocates have received "more action in 15 months from Heineman than we did out of [Gov.] Johanns in six years,” she said.

"While each race is looked at individually; we take very seriously our duty to inform pro-life voters as to whom we feel are the best pro-life candidates," NRL PAC director Denise Ashby added. "One of those criteria has been giving favored status to the pro-life incumbent who currently holds that office."

She said pro-life voters can also make their own choice because the group plans to mail 95,000 voters guides to its members. They include the responses of all candidates who returned a survey about various pro-life issues from abortion to stem cell research.

Looking at other endorsements the pro-life group made:

* State races: Gov. Dave Heineman, Secretary of State John Gale, Attorney General Jon Bruning, auditor candidate Mike Foley, Treasurer Ron Ross and Republican opponent Shane Osborn.

* U.S. Senate: Incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson, Republican candidates Dave Kramer, Pete Ricketts, Don Stenberg.

* U.S. House: Republican incumbent Jeff Fortenberry, 1st District; Republican incumbent Lee Terry, Democrat Jim Esch, 2nd District; John Hanson, Adrian Smith, Jay Vavricek, 3rd District.

The Nebraska primary will be held on Tuesday, May 9.

The rest of the endorsement list can be found at the group’s web site: