Four More Primary Elections held on Tuesday


By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Pro-life Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Dr. David O'Steen, executive director for National Right to Life

Pro-life Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Dr. David O’Steen, executive director for National Right to Life

Thirty-four down, sixteen to go! Primaries, that is. Less than three months until the November 4 general election. My, how time flies!

Primaries were held Tuesday, August 5, in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington state. Later this week, primaries will be held in Tennessee (on Thursday, August 7), and Hawaii (on Saturday, August 9).

Following are highlights from last night’s results.


Pro-life Senator Pat Roberts defeated three challengers in the Republican primary. His Democratic challenger, Chad Taylor, a district attorney, is pro-abortion. The race is considered safe Republican.

Pro-life Governor Sam Brownback (R) is being challenged by pro-abortion state Rep. Paul Davis (D). Cook Political Report considers the gubernatorial race a tossup.

All four of Kansas’ U.S. House members won their primary elections, are pro-life, and are considered “safe” in the general election.


Michigan will have several highly competitive races. The races for the U.S. Senate and for governor are both expected to be close. In both races there are huge contrasts between the candidates on life issues.

Pro-life Governor Rick Snyder (R) is being challenged by pro-abortion former Rep. Mark Schauer (D).

In the U.S. Senate race, pro-life Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R) and pro-abortion Rep. Gary Peters (D) are vying for the seat being vacated by pro-abortion Democrat Senator Carl Levin, who is retiring.

Two of Michigan’s four open congressional seats were held by pro-life congressmen: Dave Camp (R) in the 4th district, and Mike Rogers (R) in the 8th.

Pro-life state Sen. John Moolenaar (R) and pro-abortion physician Jeff Holmes (D) will compete for the open 4th district seat. It is ranked “safe R” by Cook Political Report.

In the 8th district, pro-life former state Senator Mike Bishop (R) and pro-abortion Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing (D) are running. This swing district went 51% for Romney, and is considered “lean R” by Cook.

Pro-abortion former state Rep. Pam Byrnes (D), who is supported by EMILY’s List, has advanced in Michigan’s 7th congressional district to challenge pro-life Congressman Tim Walberg (R), who is supported by the Right to Life of Michigan.

Pro-life Congressman Kerry Bentivolio (R) was defeated by his primary challenger, pro-life attorney David Trott (R), in Michigan’s 11th district. Trott will face pro-abortion businessman Bobby McKenzie (D) in November.

The 7th and 11th seats are now considered “likely R” by Cook.


All incumbents in Missouri won their primary elections and are considered “safe” by Cook Political Report.

In Missouri’s 5th district, pro-life businessman Jacob Turk (R) soundly won his primary election, and will challenge pro-abortion Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D). Historically, Cleaver is more vulnerable in non-presidential years.


Washington has an open “top two” or “jungle primary” system, in which all candidates run on the same ballot in the primary, regardless of party affiliation. The top two vote getters advance to the general election and will appear on the ballot.

Pro-abortion Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D) from Washington’s 1st district, will be challenged by either Dr. Pedro Celis or Robert Sutherland, both of whom are pro-life Republicans. The race between Celis and Sutherland is too close to call. While Cook Political Report considers the general election race “likely D,” DelBene received only 51% of the vote in the primary.

In the 4th district, Clint Didier, a former NFL football player, and former state Rep. Dan Newhouse, both of whom are pro-life Republicans, will vie for pro-life Congressman Doc Hastings’ seat, open due to his retirement. Clearly safe Republican.

Next week, it’s Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Slowly, but surely, we’re learning who the general election candidates will be, and which are the competitive pro-life v. pro-abortion races.

Look for election updates in future National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today.