Rep. Renee Ellmers Loses Primary Fight, Despite Donald Trump Endorsement

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Incumbent North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers – the first Republican member of Congress endorsed by presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump – decisively lost her primary battle Tuesday to her colleague, Rep. George Holding.

As Breitbart News previously reported, Trump’s decision to back Ellmers, reportedly because she was the first woman in Congress to endorse him, was widely criticized by constitutional grass roots conservatives, including members of the pro-life base of the Republican Party.

Ellmers came to Congress in the 2010 Tea Party wave, but abandoned her conservative principles after her election. She voted in favor of President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty and his funding for Syrian refugees, and she led a charge to shelve the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2015 on the eve of the March for Life. She justified her opposition by saying the measure would negatively affect the GOP with women and millennial voters.

Ellmers was running in a redrawn congressional district against Holding and a third candidate, Gregg Brannon.

National pro-life organization the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) declared victory once Holding was declared the winner in North Carolina’s 2nd District primary election.

The pro-life group’s North Carolina ground operation and field team knocked on more than 12,500 doors across the district in the last few weeks.

According to the findings from SBA List’s door surveys in North Carolina’s 2nd District:

  • 37.8 percent of Ellmers’ own supporters said they were less likely to vote for her, once learning of her role in derailing the Pain-Capable bill.
  • 67.3 percent of undecided pro-life primary voters were less likely to vote for Ellmers, knowing her role in derailing the Pain-Capable bill.

“Susan B. Anthony List exists to support and amplify pro-life women’s voices,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, SBA List president and a North Carolina native. “Rep. Renee Ellmers was our ally until she led the charge to derail the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. That’s why we had to flex the political muscle of the pro-life movement. She has her own failed leadership to blame for this loss.”

“Congressman George Holding is a true champion of the pro-life cause, and we know he will continue to represent his constituents well by protecting unborn babies from abortion, especially after 20 weeks when they can feel pain. He is a principled leader who will continue to defend life and serve North Carolina with integrity,” added Tami Fitzgerald, SBA List’s North Carolina State Director.

Trump endorsed Ellmers this week.

“I need [Ellmers’] help in Washington so we can work together to defeat ISIS, secure our border, and bring back jobs and frankly so many other things,” Trump said in a robo-call to Republicans in the district. “Renee knows how to do it. She gets it, and together we will make America great again.”

President of Students for Life of America Kristan Hawkins told Breitbart News that Trump’s endorsement of Ellmers was “just another disappointment from Mr. Trump and his campaign.”

Pro-lifers flexed their muscles in North Carolina today and ousted Rep. Renee Ellmers, who betrayed all those who value life when she halted the vote on the 20-week abortion ban in Congress,” Hawkins added. “It matters immensely when our elected officials claim to be pro-life but fail to act on those precious values.”


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