Stupak Faces Heat from All Sides; Could He Decide Not to Run for Re-Election?

Bart Stupak

Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, the congressman who led anti-abortion rights Democrats in the House during health care negotiations, may or may not be running for re-election this year. If he does, he will face an onslaught of campaigning against him from both the left and the right.

The Tea Party Express is launching a $250,000 ad campaign against Stupak, according to reports. The group, which is currently holding a nationwide bus tour, is airing 30-second television and radio ads across Stupak's district blasting his health care vote.

Stupak negotiated with Democratic leaders down to the eleventh hour for stricter abortion language in the health care bill, but he ultimately voted for it after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order assuring the new laws will keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.

"Bart Stupak has lost touch with the people of Michigan, and he has betrayed the public's trust," Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams said in a statement. "It's time to vote him out of office."

The Tea Party Express bus tour will make a number of stops in Stupak's district this week.

Meanwhile, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America is working to defeat Stupak and instead elect his Democratic primary challenger Connie Saltonstall.

It should be noted that it's not entirely clear whether Stupak will decide to run for a tenth term. An NBC report today raised speculation that he might be leaning against it.

However, the congressman's office seeked to downplay the speculation in a statement.

"Every two years, Congressman Stupak discusses with his family and his constituents whether to seek reelection," his spokesperson said. "He believes that is what the people of the First District of Michigan deserve. This year is no different."

In the meantime, she said, Stupak has received an "outpouring of support" from his district and has already acquired the signatures needed to file for re-election. He has more than a month to file for re-election, and the Democratic primary will take place on August 3.