NRL News

Five Primaries and a Special Election: Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia, and Arizona 8

by | Jun 13, 2012

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Editor’s note. There is still time to register for the National Right to Life convention June 28 -30 and to reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in  Arlington, Virginia. Just go to

NRL Political Director Karen Cross

On Tuesday, Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia held primaries to determine the Republican and Democratic parties’ nominees for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  A special election was held in Arizona’s 8th congressional district to replace pro-abortion Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who retired.

U.S. Senate

In Virginia, pro-life former Governor and Senator George Allen won the Republican nomination, carrying 65% of the vote in a four-way primary.  Allen will face pro-abortion former Democratic Governor Tim Kaine in November.  The seat is open because pro-abortion Democratic Senator Jim Webb is retiring and the contest is considered a tossup by The Cook Political Report.

In Nevada pro-life Republican Senator Dean Heller won the Republican nomination for reelection securing 86% of the vote.  His Democratic opponent is pro-abortion Rep. Shelley Berkley, who won 80% of the primary vote.  The Cook Political Report considers the race a tossup as well.

In North Dakota, pro-life Rep. Rick Berg easily prevailed in the Republican primary, winning two-thirds of the vote. He will face pro-abortion former Democratic attorney general Heidi Heitkamp.  There is an open seat because pro-abortion Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring.  The seat is considered a tossup by The Cook Political Report.

In Maine’s Republican primary, pro-life state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin lost to pro-abortion Secretary of state Charlie Summers by about 4,600 votes.

U.S. House

Due to changes brought about by the 2010 census, South Carolina gained an additional congressional district. On the Republican side there will be a runoff in the newly created 7th congressional district because none of the nine candidates garnered more than 50% of the vote. Pro-life former Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and pro-life Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice will compete in the June 26 runoff.

Pro-abortion college professor Gloria Bromell Tinubu won the Democratic nomination by the smallest of margins, complicated by the question of whether the votes cast for a candidate who withdrew but whose name remained on the ballot should have been counted.

The 7th congressional district is considered “likely Republican” by The Cook Political Report.

Like South Carolina, Nevada gained an additional congressional district due to reapportionment.  In the 4th congressional district pro-life businessman Danny Tarkanian won the Republican Party nomination in a nine-way primary.   ­­Tarkanian will face pro-abortion Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford in November.  The seat is considered “likely Democratic” by The Cook Political Report.

Pro-life Rep. Rick Berg’s run for the Senate means North Dakota’s at-large congressional seat is open.  Both of the candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate are Public Service Commissioners.  Both are pro-life. Kevin Cramer defeated Brian Kalk, 54% to 45%. 

Cramer will run against former Democratic state Rep. Pam Gulleson whose life position is unknown. The seat is considered “likely Republican” by The Cook Political Report.

In Arizona’s special election in the 8th congressional district to complete the remainder of Rep. Giffords’ term, pro-life Republican Jesse Kelly was defeated by pro-abortion Democrat Ron Barber, a former aide to Rep. Giffords, 52% to 45%. 

On June 26, Colorado, New York, Oklahoma and Utah will close out the June Congressional primaries.


After wins in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota last week, pro-life former Gov. Mitt Romney has 1,398 delegates, hundreds more than the 1,144 he needs to secure his party’s presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August.

According to POLITICO, 344 delegates are unallocated, 40 of which will be allocated in the final presidential primary on June 26 in Utah.

There is a vast difference between pro-life Gov. Romney and pro-abortion President Obama who will face off in November.  For information go to

Categories: Politics