TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has stayed tight-lipped on the campaign trail about the “Value Them Both” amendment, which could change the future of abortion rights in the state.
Meanwhile, her opponent in the Primary election says he’s a democrat who is ‘pro-life.’
While democrats are known for supporting abortion rights, Richard Karnowski, a democrat from Seneca, who’s facing off with the governor Aug. 2, told Kansas Capitol Bureau there’s still party members, like himself, who are anti-abortion.
“There’s never been a chance in the primary, where you would have a choice between two democrat candidates… one being pro-life and one being pro-abortion,” Karnowski said.
Karnowski is a former Republican. He’s now going up against Kelly for the Democratic slot in this year’s gubernatorial race.
The “Value Them Both” amendment is one of the top issues on the Primary ballot. If the amendment on the August 2 ballot passes, it would remove the constitutional right to an abortion for Kansans. If it fails, there would be no change.
Karnowski, a Catholic who grew up in a large family with 13 siblings, eventually started one of his own. It’s one of the reasons he says he’s taking an anti-abortion stance.
“My wife and I had four children, four girls, and she became sick not very long ago,” he said. “Unfortunately, my wife passed away about a year ago, so life is just very precious, very important to me.”
All registered Kansas voters can head to the polls Aug. 2, including those who are unaffiliated. The first public poll released Wednesday, for Kansas’ abortion amendment on the Aug. 2 ballot shows the race is close.
When it comes to Republicans, 68% say they’ll vote ‘yes’ on the amendment. Another 18% say they’ll vote ‘no.’ That compares to 86% of Democrats who say they plan to vote ‘no’ on the Value Them Both Amendment.
In an interview Wednesday, Ryan Munce, the President of Co/Efficient, said the data shows that the amendment is likely to pass by “at least several points.” Karnowski is counting on the amendment vote to push him forward in the Primary race.
“This is a very special opportunity to allow people to express their view,” Munce said. “How many democrats are willing to vote pro-life and how many are willing to vote pro-abortion?”
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