2017 Special Elections

Great Pro-Life opportunities abound

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life political director

Pro-life Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes (R) with Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director. National Right to Life endorsed Ron Estes in the Kansas 4 special election.

Pro-life Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes (R) with Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director. National Right to Life endorsed Ron Estes in the Kansas 4 special election.

Following the 2016 presidential election, there are an unusually large number of federal special elections because President Donald Trump chose various members of Congress to fill cabinet positions. Currently, there are six special elections pending: five pro-life Republican seats are open and one pro-abortion Democratic seat is open because the incumbent was chosen attorney general after the attorney general won her bid to become a U.S. Senator.

Following is an overview:

Kansas 4th: After pro-life Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) was confirmed as director of the CIA, Gov. Sam Brownback scheduled a special election for April 11. Following nominating conventions, the general election candidates are: Ron Estes (R), Jim Thompson (D), and Chris Rockhold (Libertarian). Ron Estes is pro-life and has been endorsed by National Right to Life, Jim Thompson supports a policy of abortion on demand, and Chris Rockhold’s position is unknown.

Montana’s At-Large: A May 25 special general election will be held following the confirmation of pro-life Rep. Ryan Zinke (R) as secretary of the Department of the Interior. No primary was held. Instead party leaders chose their nominees at a nominating convention in March. Greg Gianforte (R), who is pro-life, will run against Rob Quist (D), who supports unlimited abortion or, as he states on his website, “without exception.”

California’s 34th: Pro-abortion Rep. Xavier Becerra (D) was chosen to fill California’s vacant attorney general seat after pro-abortion Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) won the U.S. Senate seat, replacing pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). Twenty-four candidates have filed for the special election, which will be held on April 4, to determine Becerra’s replacement in the House. A runoff will take place on June 6, if no candidate gets 50%.

Georgia’s 6th: When pro-life Rep. Tom Price (R) was confirmed as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a special election was scheduled for April 18. All 18 candidates will run on the same ballot. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, a special runoff will be held between the top two, regardless of party affiliation, on June 20.

South Carolina’s 5th: A special general election will be held on June 20, after pro-life Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R) was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget. The special primary will be held on May 2. If a primary runoff is necessary in either party, it will be held on May 16.

Alabama Senate: After pro-life Senator Jeff Sessions (R) was confirmed as attorney general, Gov. Robert Bentley appointed state Senator Luther Strange (R) to fill the vacant seat until the November 6, 2018, special general election. A special primary election will be held on June 5, 2018. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes in the primary, a primary runoff election will be held on July 17, 2018.

The special elections are in the preliminary stages at this point. Stay tuned to National Right to Life News Today as more developments occur in the coming months.