NRL News

2018 Primary Election Overview: August 7 results

by | Aug 8, 2018

By Karen Cross, National Right to Life Political Director

On Tuesday, voters in five states (Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and a special election in Ohio) went to the polls to determine the Republican and Democratic nominees for House, Senate, and/or gubernatorial races for the November 6, 2018 general election.

The special election in Ohio’s 12th congressional district was to replace retired pro-life Congressman Pat Tiberi, which as of this writing is too close to call.

The election between pro-life state Sen. Troy Balderson, who was endorsed by National Right to Life and Ohio Right to Life, and pro-abortion Democrat Danny O’Connor was considered by many pundits to be a “bellwether” for the 2018 midterm elections.

According to The Hill:

While both candidates are already on the ballot in November for a rematch to win a full two-year term, Tuesday’s special election carries major implications for Republicans seeking to hold control of the House and Democrats trying to retake the chamber.

So, how did pro-life candidates fare on August 7? Following is an overview of the primary and special elections by state:


As of Wednesday afternoon, National Right to Life-endorsed state Sen. Balderson (R) is ahead of pro-abortion Democrat Danny O’Connor, 50.2% to 49.3%, or approximately 1,700 votes. The race is still too close to call. Moreover, According to the Columbus Dispatch there are possibly as many as 8,483 additional ballots to be tabulated—“those from provisional voters and absentee ballots mailed in from overseas and the military.”

The winner of the special election will complete pro-life Congressman Tiberi’s term, which ends January 2019. Both candidates will be on the ballot again on November 6 to compete for a full two-year term in the 116th Congress.


The Kansas governor’s race is another race much too close to call. The Republican primary between pro-life Governor Jeff Colyer and pro-life Secretary of State Kris Kobach is separated by a mere 200 votes. The winner will challenge pro-abortion Democrat state Sen. Laura Kelly for the open seat. Laura Kelly is an EMILY’s List candidate

EMILY’s List is a pro-abortion group that only supports female Democrat candidates that support abortion on demand, and taxpayer funding of abortion on demand. Will Kansans vote for candidates who support unlimited abortion?

National Right to Life-endorsed Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder (Kansas 3) is also facing a pro-abortion EMILY’s List candidate – Sharice Davids– in a district Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016 with 47% of the vote.

The second congressional district is vacated due to Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ retirement. Pro-life Republican Steve Watkins and pro-abortion former state Rep. Paul Davis (D) are vying for her seat.

Pro-life Congressman Ron Estes (R) faced a challenger in his primary, whose name is also Ron Estes. The congressman soundly won, 81% to 19%, and will face pro-abortion Democrat James Thompson in November.


After Tuesday’s results, pro-life Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette will face pro-abortion former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), an EMILY’s List candidate, in Michigan’s gubernatorial election.

National Right to Life-endorsed Republican businessman John James won his primary and will challenge pro-abortion incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), an EMILY’s List candidate.

Stabenow has voted against the pro-life position for two decades, even voting against the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act, and against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. She is a co-sponsor of S. 510, a bill that, if enacted, would invalidate nearly all state and federal limitations on abortion. Stabenow supports the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion, and she opposed the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

The congressional race in Michigan’s 7th district is considered lean Republican. Pro-abortion Democrat Gretchen Driskell, an EMILY’s List candidate, is challenging pro-life Rep. Tim Walberg (R).

In Michigan’s 8th congressional district, another pro-abortion EMILY’s List candidate – Elissa Slotkin – is challenging pro-life Congressman Mike Bishop (R) in a district considered a tossup.

In the open 11th district, pro-life Republican Lena Epstein and pro-abortion Haley Stevens are vying for the seat open due to the retirement of pro-life Congressman David Trott. The contest is considered a tossup.


In Missouri, National Right to Life-endorsed Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) won his primary and will challenge pro-abortion Democrat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, an EMILY’s List candidate.

McCaskill voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. She is a co-sponsor of S. 510. McCaskill supports using tax dollars to pay for abortion, and she opposed the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.


Washington votes by mail and uses a top-two system. All candidates, regardless of party affiliation, are listed together on the ballot, and the two candidates who receive the most votes go on to the general election.

After Tuesday pro-life Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) will face pro-abortion Democrat Carolyn Long, an EMILY’s List candidate. The seat, which went 50% for Trump in 2016, is considered likely Republican.

In Washington’s 5th congressional district, pro-life Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) faces a stiff challenge by pro-abortion Democrat Lisa Brown, an EMILY’s List candidate. At the time this is published, the vote was 47.5% to 47.1% in what amounts to a trial heat.

Finally, in the 8th congressional district, which is open due to Republican Dave Reichert’s retirement, pro-life state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) and pro-abortion EMILY’s List Democrat Kim Schrier, are running first and second.

Just a side note: the radical pro-abortion group EMILY’s List is on target to raise and spend $90 million in the 2018 elections. They have more candidates in the 2018 election cycle than ever before.

Next up, on August 15, voters will go to the polls in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Be sure to look for election updates in future editions of

Categories: Politics
Tags: election