By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director
November 3, 2015, was election day in a handful of states. Voters headed to the polls in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Following is an overview of the election results, by state.
Despite recent pre-election polls showing otherwise, National Right to Life-endorsed candidate, Matt Bevin (R), defeated pro-abortion Attorney General Jack Conway (D), 52% to 44%. Independent candidate Drew Curtis garnered 4% of the vote.
Matt Bevin is a military vet and businessman. He and his wife, Glenna, are the parents of nine children.
A major focus in Bevin’s campaign was his opposition to Obamacare, which provides government funding for insurance plans that pay for abortion on demand, and will ration lifesaving medical treatments.
Outgoing pro-abortion Governor Steve Beshear (D) recently claimed that Democrats will “make this [Obamacare] a major issue and will pound the Republicans into the dust with it.”
Virginia State House and Senate
In a blow to pro-abortion Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), Republicans retained their slim 21-19 majority in the state Senate. The state Assembly maintained its nearly two-to-one Republican majority, keeping both houses under pro-life leadership.
Gov. McAuliffe targeted the 13th senate district race, a race being watched statewide. Pro-life state Senator Dick Black (R) overcame a challenge by pro-abortion Dr. Jill McCabe (D) in the 13th Senate District.
In addition to McAuliffe’s support, McCabe was supported by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the pro-abortion group EMILY’s List. In July, EMILY’s List put pro-life Senator Black “on notice” when they targeted him for defeat.
Black defeated McCabe 52% to 47%.
“VSHL is hopeful that the pro-life tenor of the elections will encourage the members of the General Assembly to take hold of this opportunity to work even harder to get new protective pro-life legislation passed,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of Virginia Society for Human Life. “Even in the face of opposition from a pro-abortion governor, clearly the voters of Virginia are sending a message to him. Passing laws like the Virginia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will save babies’ lives after 20 weeks, when they can feel pain.”
New Jersey State House and Senate
Voters in New Jersey gave the state Assembly their largest Democratic majority since 1979.
Pennsylvania Judicial Races
In what has been called “one of the biggest court shake-ups in recent history,” Pennsylvania voters elected Democrats for all three state Supreme Court positions, giving Democrats a majority on the court.
This is significant for many reasons, one of which is redistricting. The party that controls the Supreme Court appoints the chair of the five-member redistricting commission, which is made up of the court-appointed chair, two Democrats and two Republicans.
“Extreme special interests poured millions of dollars into Pennsylvania judicial races, running dreadful TV ads which maligned candidates who would have brought integrity and honor to the bench,” said Maria Gallagher, legislative director for Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation.
“What was perhaps most telling were the outrageous attacks against women candidates who believe in interpreting the law as written, rather than making laws from the bench,” Gallagher noted. “This was an unusual election cycle and a difficult year for the judiciary. Election 2016 in Pennsylvania will be a whole different ball game – and pro-lifers will be ready for it.”
Pro-life Governor Phil Bryant (R) soundly defeated Robert Gray (D), 66% to 32% to win a second term.
Louisiana voters will determine their next governor on November 21. There will be a runoff that day between National Right to Life-endorsed U.S. Senator David Vitter (R) and state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D). They are vying for the open seat vacated by pro-life Governor Bobby Jindal who is running for president.
Look for updates in future National Right to Life News and National Right to Life News Today.