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In Specter-Sestak Race NARAL Breaks With Obama

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NARAL is backing Joe Sestak in today's high-profile U.S. Senate race with Arlen Specter. Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Lois Herr is endorsed by the National Women's Political Caucus in her bid to unseat Joe Pitts in the U.S. House.

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"He's trying to stir up that issue and use it as a wedge," said Lulu Flores, president of the bi-partisan National Women's Political Caucus. Flores commended Herr for focusing on economic, environment and transportation issues, which directly affect many more voters in the district

Flores said Herr, a former telecommunications executive, faces an uphill battle but may benefit from the national anti-incumbent mood.

Hanabusa Runs on May 22

In a Hawaiian race on May 22, the National Women's Political Caucus has endorsed State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat, in a tight three-way special election for one of the state's two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Hanabusa, a labor attorney and community organizer, faces Rep. Ed Case, another Democrat, and Republican Hawaii City Council member Charles Djou.

"We find she's incredibly effective and we want to see more women who are prepared to serve in higher office," Flores said.

Democratic groups have split their support between Hanabusa and Case, giving the polling lead to Djou, the sole Republican, in a district that Obama swept with 70 percent of the vote in the general election.

Emily's List, one of the largest sources of funding for pro-choice Democratic female politicians, is backing 26 candidates in these mid-term elections, the first of which falls on June 1, when Diane Denish runs for governor of New Mexico and Terri Sewell seeks to represent Alabama's Seventh Congressional District.

The National Women's Political Caucus also has endorsed some June primary candidates, including North Carolina's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elaine Marshall, the state's first female secretary of state. She is facing a June 22 runoff against Cal Cunningham, a former Army prosecutor.

Although Marshall is tied at 36 with her primary opponent, she is within one point of Republican incumbent Sen. Richard Burr, according to recent surveys of likely runoff voters and general election voters, respectively, by Public Policy Polling, based in Raleigh, N.C.

Rich Daly is a writer in Washington, D.C.

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