NRL News

June 3: Eight States Hold Primaries

by | Jun 4, 2014


By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

Iowa pro-life state Senator Joni Ernst (R) won her party’s nomination and will face pro-abortion Rep. Bruce Braley (D) in November.

Iowa pro-life state Senator Joni Ernst (R) won her party’s nomination and will face pro-abortion Rep. Bruce Braley (D) in November.

Eight states held their primaries on June 3: Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Following are highlights.


In a seven-way Republican primary, pro-lifers Paul DeMarco and Gary Palmer advanced to a July 15 runoff to determine which GOPer will compete for the 6th congressional district seat vacated by retiring pro-life Congressman Spencer Bachus (R). Avery Vise, whose abortion position is unknown, was unopposed in the Democratic primary. A solid Republican district, 74 percent of the voters in the 6th district voted for Romney in 2012.


In California’s “Top-Two” primary system, all candidates run on the same ballot in the primary regardless of party affiliation, and the top two vote getters advance to the general election.

Pro-abortion Amanda Renteria (D) has advanced in California’s 21st congressional district to challenge pro-life freshman Congressman David Valadeo (R).

Pro-life former state Senator Tony Strickland (R) has advanced in California’s 25th district seat left open by pro-life Republican Congressman Buck McKeon’s retirement.

Pro-life businessman Paul Chabot (R) has advanced to the general election in California’s 31st congressional district. The seat is open due to pro-life Congressman Gary Miller’s retirement. Chabot’s challenger will be one of three Democrats. That race is too close to call.

Pro-life state Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R) will challenge pro-abortion freshman Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) in California’s 36th congressional district.


In a five-way Republican Senate primary, pro-life state Senator Joni Ernst (R) garnered 56% of the vote to avoid a runoff and win her party’s nomination. Ernst will face pro-abortion Rep. Bruce Braley (D), the Democratic nominee, to replace retiring pro-abortion Senator Tom Harkin (D).

Because no candidate received 35% of the vote in the Republican primary, the Republican nominee for the 3rd congressional district seat to be vacated by retiring pro-life Congressman Tom Latham (R) will be determined at their state convention on June 21. Voters in the 3rd district voted 47% for Romney in 2012, and the district is rated “Republican toss-up”.


The results of the Republican primary for the Mississippi Senate seat, currently held by pro-life Senator Thad Cochran, have pro-life state Senator Chris McDaniel with a slight lead over Cochran, 49.6%-48.9%. Since neither candidate garnered more than 50%, there will be a runoff between Cochran and McDaniel on June 24.

The runoff winner will face Democrat Travis Childers in November in a race ranked “Lean R” by Cook Political Report.

Pro-life Congressman Steve Palazzo (R) avoided a runoff in a five-way primary in the 4th congressional district. Matt Moore (D) will challenge Palazzo in November in the solid Republican district.

Congressman Palazzo is the lead sponsor of the “Every Child is a Blessing Act,” legislation to curb “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” civil lawsuits which claim a baby should have been aborted usually due to a disability.

“No child should ever have to hear they should have never been born,” Palazzo said in a written statement. (A current list of co-sponsors can be viewed here.)


Pro-life Congressman Steve Daines (R) won his party’s nomination to challenge pro-abortion Senator John Walsh (D) in November in a seat considered “lean R” by Cook Political Report.

New Jersey

In New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, pro-life businessman Tom MacArthur won the Republican nomination. MacArthur will face pro-abortion Aimee Belgard, a Burlington County Freeholder, in the seat now open due to Republican Congressman Jon Runyan’s retirement. The open seat is considered a Republican tossup.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, pro-life Governor Susana Martinez will face a challenge from Attorney General Gary King, who won the Democratic nomination. Cook Political Report considers the governor’s race “likely R”.

Pro-life Republican Allen Weh will challenge pro-abortion Senator Tom Udall in November. The race is ranked “solid D” by Cook Political Report.

South Dakota

Pro-life Governor Mike Rounds (R) easily won the GOP nomination in a five-way race for the U.S. Senate seat. Governor Rounds will face pro-abortion businessman Rick Weiland (D) in the November general election. Weiland was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The race is considered “Likely Republican” by Cook Political Report.

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

Categories: Politics