Political Muscles Flexed by NC Values Coalition to Boot Renee Ellmers Out of Congress
Yesterday’s primary lost by Rep Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional district was celebrated by North Carolina Values Coalition as a victory after Ellmers unexpectedly betrayed pro-life groups in 2015.
Last January the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was on track to pass the House on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. While hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers gathered in Washington for the March for Life, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers quietly led a successful effort to block and derail the bill’s progress. Although Ellmers had previously campaigned on a pro-life platform and, in 2013, actually voted for the exact same bill, last year she unexpectedly blocked the bill that would have prevented abortions after 20 weeks.
The Strategy to Inform The Voters
NC Values partnered with Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life organization based in Washington DC, to defeat Ellmers re-election bid in the June 7th primary. Both groups urged pro-life voters to “Dump Ellmers” after her 2015 vote and announced their joint endorsement of her opponent George Holding. SBA List’s North Carolina team, a ground operation of five field staff and more than 200 canvassers who have been active in the state since 2014, knocked on more than 12,500 doors in Ellmers’ district in the last few weeks to remind pro-life voters of Ellmers actions in the House. SBA List also reached 90,000 voters through an effective digital awareness & advertising campaign. Despite a last-minute endorsement from Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, Ellmers became the first GOP incumbent to lose in the 2016 primary cycle.
Tami Fitzgerald, State Director for SBA List and Executive Director for the North Carolina Values Coalition was delighted when issuing a statement on Ellmers’ defeat, “There is no amount of money, time, staff, or investment too large when it comes to holding our leaders accountable. Renee Ellmers should serve as an example to all leaders: when you compromise your integrity, you will lose.”
To date SBA List canvassers have knocked on a total of 185,000 doors throughout North Carolina to educate voters on pro-life issues. The teams will stay active through the presidential election cycle; a fact all North Carolina leaders should remember as they evaluate HB2 and other key legislation important to conservative voters in the state.