North Dakota Democrat Mark Haugen quit his bid for U.S. House on Monday, saying party leaders pressured him to leave because of his pro-life views and he “refused to compromise.”
Supposedly, Democrat Party leaders believe abortion is a winning issue, but even prominent state Democrats who support abortion are angry about Haugen’s ouster, InForum columnist Rob Port reports.
Haugen reportedly was pushed aside in favor of last-minute candidate Cara Mund, a former Miss America winner who is running primarily on a pro-abortion platform. Mund is not even an official candidate yet; she had until Tuesday to submit 1,000 petition signatures to qualify for the ballot, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement Monday, Haugen announced his decision to withdraw from the U.S. House race.
“Over the past several days, I have received pressure from many [North Dakota Democrat Party] leaders and other activists on the far left to step away, since Cara Mund has entered the race,” he said in a statement. “Much of the far left’s concern is my pro-life position for which I have refused to compromise.”
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Because the Democratic-NPL Party withdrew its support, Haugen said he does not believe it is possible to win the seat. He would have run against incumbent U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, a pro-life Republican.
Haugen said the party’s betrayal has been difficult for his family, and he does not believe the Democratic Party is inclusive or “big-tent” anymore.
Those who reportedly pressured him to quit include former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, former Senator Kent Conrad and former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, according to InForum.
The news shocked and horrified many prominent Democrats in the state, including those who disagreed with Haugen on abortion but still supported his candidacy. Shelley Lenz, a former Democrat gubernatorial candidate who supports legalized abortion, said what party leaders did to Haugen was disgusting.
“I’m disgusted,” Lenz told InForum. “I’m a little angry. I love that Mark set his piece out loud. It wasn’t his decision. They’re trying to make it look like his decision, but they forced him out.”
Kathrin Volochenko, a Democrat and the treasurer of the Non-Partisan League, added: “For the party to throw Mark and his decades of dedication and experience – he has put his heart and soul into working for the Democratic party – to throw it away…I’m just livid.”
However, the Bismarck Tribune reports Democratic-NPL Party Chairman Patrick Hart defended the party, saying the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade changed the political landscape.
“Mark stepped up during convention for this race” in March, Hart said. “At that time, his views were well known but since then the landscape has changed due to the Dobbs decision.”
Hart also said he does not tell any candidate what to do.
Because Mund entered the race so late, she will run as an independent – as long as she qualifies for the ballot.
The North Dakota abortion ban protects unborn babies by prohibiting abortions except in cases of rape, incest or risks to the mother’s life. However, a court recently blocked enforcement of the law. About 1,100 unborn babies are aborted in the state every year.
Democrats narrowly control U.S. Congress, and abortion activists hope the overturning of Roe will enrage voters enough to keep Democrats in leadership in November. With just a few more seats, pro-abortion lawmakers could pass a radical bill that would force states to legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth and force taxpayers to pay for them.
Since Roe in 1973, more than 63 million unborn babies and hundreds of mothers have died in supposedly “safe,” legal abortions. The infamous ruling forced states to legalize abortions for any reason up to viability and allowed abortions for any reason up to birth.
In the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling in June, the Supreme Court overturned Roe and allowed states to protect unborn babies from abortion again. Currently, 15 states protect unborn babies by limiting or banning abortions.