Playing Musical Chairs with Nevada’s Open Seat

By Karen Cross, Political Director, National Right to Life

Next Monday, Rep. Dean Heller will be sworn in as Nevada’s junior United States Senator.  Governor Brian Sandoval appointed Heller (R) to replace Senator John Ensign (R), whose retirement went into effect on May 3.  Heller, who has a 100% pro-life record in the 112th Congress, will run for a term of his own in 2012 as the incumbent senator.  Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), who has a 0% pro-abortion voting record in the 112th Congress, has announced that she will run for the Senate.

As a result of Heller’s appointment, a special election will be held on September 13th to fill his now vacant seat.   Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) has announced that all eligible candidates will be on one ballot.  The top vote-getter will win the election to the House of Representatives, even if the person doesn’t win a majority of the votes.  There will be no primary.

This means that a pro-abortion Democrat can win in the Republican leaning district if the Republican field is large and splits its vote, and if the Democrats are able to clear the field for pro-abortion state Treasurer Kate Marshall (D), who has already announced.  So far there are four Republican candidates eyeing a run.

The Republican Party is challenging Miller’s decision and believes it has legal precedent based on a 1954 Senate special election in which each party nominated its own candidates.

The Democrat Party, however, seems to be pleased with the decision.

Melissa Clement, President of Nevada Right to Life, told National Right to Life News Today, “Pro-abortionists are licking their chops at the opportunity to pick up a seat in CD2.  Chaos is their only means of doing so.  A field of more than one pro-life Republican against the singular party picked pro-abortion candidate could give this seat away. CD2, since its inception, has always had pro-life representation – Barbara Vucanovich, Jim Gibbons, and most recently Dean Heller.  This special election combined with the upcoming redistricting could leave pro-life Nevadans with little or no representation in the House.”

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