The Allen County Right to Life Political Action Committee announced Thursday it has endorsed 21 candidates in the Nov. 6 general election – many of whom are seeking offices that have no authority for writing, voting on or enforcing laws affecting women's reproduction rights.
"Unborn boys and girls and their mothers are counting on us to advance the cause of life in the midterm election. We need individuals at all levels of government who believe in the right to life," PAC communications director Cathie Humbarger said in a statement. Humbarger also is executive director of Allen County Right to Life, which opposes abortion rights.
Endorsed candidates who have a legislative say on women's access to abortions include U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd; Republican state Sens. Dennis Kruse of Auburn in District 14 and Liz Brown of Fort Wayne in District 15; and Republican state Reps. Daniel Leonard of Huntington in District 50, Ben Smaltz of Auburn in District 52, Matthew Lehman of Berne in District 79, Martin Carbaugh of Fort Wayne in District 81, David Abbott of Rome City in District 82 and Dave Heine of New Haven in District 85.
Right to Life PAC did not endorse Republican state Reps. Christopher Judy in District 83 and Bob Morris in District 84, both of Fort Wayne. The organization has endorsed them in past General Assembly elections.
Humbarger said neither Morris nor Judy, who is running unopposed, returned a candidate survey to Right to Life PAC in advance of this year's election.
"The policy of the ACRL-PAC is that candidates who do not submit a survey are not considered for endorsement. The candidates are aware of this policy," Humbarger said in an email.
Endorsed candidates for Allen County commissioners are Republican incumbent Therese Brown in District 2 and candidate Richard Beck in District 3. The county commissioners approved an ordinance in 2010 that requires non-resident medical providers to designate a local backup physician before they can practice in Allen County – a law that forced the closure of Fort Wayne's lone abortion clinic in 2014.
Republican Sheriff David Gladieux was endorsed by Allen County Right to Life. The sheriff enforces county ordinances.
Endorsed candidates whose offices appear to have nothing to do with reproductive rights include Republican County Council members Tom Harris in District 2 and Joel Benz in District 3; County Auditor Nicholas Jordan; County Recorder Anita Mather; and Republican candidates Kim Doster, council District 1, and Christopher Nancarrow, circuit court clerk.
Also endorsed were candidates for three school board seats that are not affiliated with political parties: East Allen County Schools board member Gayle Etzler, District 2E; Southwest Allen County Schools board member Tom Rhoades, District 1; and Fort Wayne Community Schools board at-large candidate Brian Thompson.
Other candidate endorsements announced recently include:
* The Indiana Right to Life PAC has endorsed Republican Mike Braun for a U.S. Senate seat from Indiana.
* U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, R-3rd, has been endorsed by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste PAC and the National Rifle Association.