Iowa Right to Life Committee executive director Kim Lehman has been elected to the Republican National Committee and today she publicly stated her support of all Republican candidates on November’s ballot — regardless of their stand on abortion. “I will always support Republican candidates who run for office and have made it through the primary,” Lehman said during an interview.
A group of conservatives in Iowa launched an effort this spring to rid the GOP of “Republicans in Name Only” — primarily those who are pro-choice on the abortion issue. Lehman today said she is not part of that effort. “As far as I’m concerned, the Republican Party is majority pro-life and most of the candidates are pro-life and those candidates are going to be running on their position and their district will elect them accordingly,” she said.
The group of Republicans hoping to rid their party of pro-choice candidates have encouraged pro-life voters to cast their ballots for Democrats who are running against pro-choice Republicans. Lehman is not among those encouraging conservative Republicans to vote against moderate Republicans. “I work for the National Committee and I work for the Republican Party as one of the Central Committee members just as a voting member and so I will be helping to grow the Republican Party of Iowa and I’ll be helping to develop it message as well as helping the national committee,” Lehman said.
During an appearance on the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press,” Lehman indicated that as a national and state party leader, she would not discourage pro-choice Republicans from seeking office. “I accept the fact that not everyone in the party is prolife. That is just a reality and that’s the way it is and so if they’re elected, those are the Republicans,” Lehman said. “But I can say this: those Republicans typically run on the fiscal issues to reduce government and I would say, ‘Hang your hat on that and let’s go for it,’ because I totally agree that we need to be fiscally conservative in the legislature.”
Lehman contends the pro-life position is dominant among Republicans and a paramount plank in the party’s platform. She cited surveys indicating about 70 percent of Republicans are pro-life and 30 percent are pro-choice.
Lehman will become a member of the Republican National Committee in early September, at the conclusion of the party’s national convention in St. Paul.