Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, announced today in a letter to her supporters she will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. This decision will provide Texas pro-life advocates the opportunity to elect an authentically pro-life senator to represent them in 2012.
Hutchison’s record on abortion is mixed. Throughout her political career, Hutchison has muddled the waters on her stance. In the same breath, Hutchison would affirm the Roe vs. Wade decision, which legalized abortion-on-demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy, and claim she supported protection for unborn children past six months. Senator Hutchison also has a dismal record on embryonic stem cell research, voting to mandate federal funding for the destruction of human embryos.
However, throughout her time in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison has lent her support to several key pro-life initiatives. She voted for the Unborn Victims of Violence Protection Act and to ban the gruesome practice of partial-birth abortion. Senator Hutchison also voted to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits American tax dollars from funding organizations that perform abortions abroad.
Senator Hutchison voted against the pro-abortion Obama healthcare law, which constitutes the largest expansion of abortion since Roe vs. Wade.
Now, with a Senate seat up for grabs in Texas, it goes without saying that the pro-life grassroots in Texas will be working diligently to elect a strong pro-life senator. In a state that is served by outstanding pro-life advocates Governor Rick Perry and Senator John Cornyn, it is clear that Texans want dynamic pro-life leadership.
Some of the possibilities for the seat include pro-life State Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, David Dewhurst, the pro-life Lt. Governor, and former Secretary of State Roger Williams. John Sharp, who backs abortion, is a likely candidate on the Democratic side.
That Hutchison would not run again in somewhat unsurprising, given how her polling standing is low. As polling firm PPP notes:
Hutchison’s approval rating with Republicans on our last Texas poll was just 58%. To put that number into some perspective Lisa Murkowski’s approval with Republicans in January of 2010 was 77% and Mike Castle’s in March of 2009 was 69%. They both started out in a much better position against their Tea Party opposition than Hutchison would have, and they both lost anyway.
A poll we conducted in September of 2010 found that only 25% of Republicans in Texas would support Hutchison for renomination to 62% who preferred a ‘more conservative’ challenger. It’s doubtful Hutchison really would have lost by that sort of margin, but she certainly would have been in deep, deep trouble had a Tea Party challenger emerged.