Stupak Strongly Considering Gubernatorial Bid
Even as he remains the key figure in the debate over abortion in the health care overhaul in Washington, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) says he is strongly considering a run for governor, prompting fears from Democratic leaders of opening up another vulnerable seat for Republicans.Stupak said Tuesday that he will be traveling across his state in the coming weeks to gauge support for a bid, but he added that he wants to avoid a bloody primary. Stupak has noted in the past that his strong support for gun rights and vocal opposition to abortion rights would make a statewide Democratic primary run difficult. But he said Tuesday that his independent streak could make him the strongest Democratic candidate in a difficult election environment this year.“I may very well be the strongest candidate,— he said, adding that there are three or four qualified candidates looking at running. “I would hope party leaders would get behind a candidate,— he said. “We can’t have a primary battle. A divisive primary would not be good.—Stupak also said that Michigan needs “a strong leader who’s not afraid to bite the bullet I think I’m a guy who does that.—Stupak said that he’s already gotten a call from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) urging him to run for re-election to his House seat.“It’s a gone district, if I’m not in there,— Stupak said. President Barack Obama won the district by a few hundred votes, Stupak said, despite pulling out all of the stops. But in a midterm election year, without a candidate who is an “anomaly,— as Stupak described himself, Republicans will take the seat.Meanwhile, Stupak said that the issue of abortion coverage in the health care overhaul remains unresolved, but he predicted a resolution could be reached. “We’ll get it worked out,— he said. “I’m a reasonable guy. I’m willing to listen.”However, Stupak said that other issues are much more likely to sink the bill.“Abortion is the least of their problems,— he said, citing anger in the House over the tax on “Cadillac— health insurance plans, sweetheart deals cut for particular Senators’ states, and the unpopularity of the plan back home.Members who supported the bill got hit in the head by a “two-by-four.—“You know how popular these plans are? Like a lead balloon,— he said.