Saturday, June 10, 2023

In Colorado, a GOP Rarity: Abortion Rights Candidate

DENVER ( Associated Press) — Joe O’Dea stood in front of hundreds of social conservatives and said words he wasn’t used to hearing from the Republican U.S. Senate nominee: “I know my position on abortion. You are not like everyone else.”

O’D, a businesswoman who has spoken publicly about her support for abortion rights, told the crowd that she supports late-term abortions and restrictions on government funding of abortions. But, he added, the decision to terminate the pregnancy In the early months there is “between a person and their Lord”.

On other issues, O’Dea sounds like a typical conservative. He wants to cut government regulations and expand oil and gas production, and he opposes gun sanctions. But her support for abortion rights stands out in a Republican party in which opposition to the procedure has become a foundational tenet.

His top rival in Tuesday’s primary is State Representative Ron Hanxo.Who opposes abortion in any case. The two are competing to take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett, who won his first Senate race in 2010 by hammering his GOP challenger into an abortion rights protest.

Republican voter Carla Davis, who describes herself as “100% pro-life”, believes O’Dea will be a strong candidate in the general election against Bennett in a state that has won the election since 2008. Has voted for an initiative to limit or ban abortion four times.

“You have to accept the little things in order for things to work out,” said Davis, a 60-year-old marketing executive who recently attended an O’Dea event.

Still, if O’Dea wins the Republican primary, it will be partly due to a financial advantage rather than a strategic choice by GOP voters. He has spent more than $600,000 of his own on his Senate run, while Hanks’ campaign has raised less than $60,000.

Hanks, who said he marched to the US Capitol on January 6 but did not enter the building during the rebellion, said O’Dea’s views do not align with most Republican primary voters.

“His policy position would put him to the left of Mitt Romney,” Hanks said in an interview. “The message is not Republican, it is not conservative, it is not pro-life.”

Hanks has received some help from a Democratic group that sees him as an easy opponent for Bennett. The group spent $800,000 on ads designed to tout her candidacy in the GOP primaries, warned she was “too conservative” to support a full abortion ban and would allow anyone to carry a firearm in public. Huh.

Conservatives fear something similar will happen if Hanks is nominated. “Instead of talking about the economy, instead of talking about inflation, you’d be talking about abortion,” said Mario Nichols, a lawyer and activist who left the Republican Party partly on criticism. which he received after supporting a ballot measure to ban abortion. 22 weeks – Critics wanted abortion to be banned entirely.

For Nichols, it shows how hard some Republicans are in their opposition to abortion rights, which have marginalized them in the state. The 22-week ban failed in the November 2020 elections, as voters rejected other initiatives to limit or ban abortion in 2008, 2010 and 2014.

In 1967, Colorado became the first state to loosen restrictions on abortion, guaranteeing abortion rights nationally in 1973, six years before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. This year, the Democratic-controlled legislature passed a law guaranteeing full access to abortion. The Supreme Court in the state also reversed the row. Draft opinion leaked from High Court indicates that the court’s term may end this month, at roughly the same time as Colorado’s Tuesday primary.

Bennett’s campaign has cited that impending decision as a reason for Colorado voters to be wary of the GOP.

“Both Republican candidates are too far for our state,” spokeswoman Georgina Beven said in a statement. “Coloradans now have even deeper meaning to elect pro-choice candidates this November, and Michael will always be committed to protecting women’s reproductive rights in the US Senate.”

If O’Dea were to be chosen, it would be Maine’s Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski as the only Republican senator to publicly vote in Roe v. Support Wade.

Still, the state is home to a core group of strong opponents of abortion rights, including many religious groups, who are concerned about the prospect of not having like-minded candidates on the Senate ballot in the fall.

Paul J., a spokesman for the religious group Focus on the Family. “The dignity of every person—birth and pre-birth—should be impenetrable and non-negotiable,” said Batura, which is not included in the primary. “Come November, Coloradoans and voters everywhere deserve the opportunity to express their pro-life beliefs at the ballot box.”

The largest Orthodox event in the state is the Western Orthodox Summit, sponsored by Colorado Christian University. It was there, at a sprawling resort near Denver International Airport, that O’Dea received a polite reception from the crowd, which was largely quiet, while they briefly discussed abortion. Hanks, who preceded him, was greeted with a roar when he outlined his firm stand on the issue.

Hanks said, “When we fight for life, we don’t fight for life some of the time, we fight for all.” “Because everyone deserves a birthday.”

O’Dea attacked Hanks, a former Army intelligence officer who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in California in 2010. Hanks said he opposed abortion, but his campaign literature said he kept “a measured and narrow window for medical experts”. That warning prompted O’Dea to accuse Hanks of “keeping his finger in the air.” In an interview, Hanks said he changed the situation because improvements in medical technology make it easier to save a mother’s life in case of complications.

But much of O’Dea’s speech did not involve abortion, an issue he says he never hears from voters. Most voters are concerned about inflation and crime, O’Dea said in an interview, two issues he has consistently hit on the campaign trail.

A political novice, O’Dea has donated to both Democrats and Republicans in the past. He gave Bennett $500 in 2010. O’Dea said he gave most of his donations to Democrats when he chaired a construction industry organization that paid to participate in a campaign fundraiser and would ask for his money back on the debate stage.

O’Dea says he voted for Donald Trump twice, but has no opinion on whether the former president should run again and volunteered that he should be a potential Trump opponent in the 2024 GOP primary, Florida The government likes Ron DeSantis. O’Dea said he supported Trump’s nominees on the Supreme Court, who is among the judges who appear to reverse Rowe, and saw no contradiction between him and his views on abortion.

“I’m not running on social issues,” O’Dea said, “and people aren’t talking about social issues, except journalists and Ron Hanks.”

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