The Right to Life of Northeast Indiana Political Action Committee announced it has endorsed 16 Republican candidates in the May 5 primary election.
The PAC, which opposes abortion rights for women, said it is endorsing U.S. Rep. Jim Banks in the 3rd Congressional District; state Sen. Justin Busch in District 16; and state Reps. Daniel Leonard in District 50, Dennis Zent in District 51, Ben Smaltz in District 52, Matthew Lehman in District 79, Martin Carbaugh in District 81, David Abbott in District 82, Christopher Judy in District 83, Bob Morris in District 84 and Dave Heine in District 85.
The PAC endorsed five Allen County government candidates: District 1 Commissioner Nelson Peters, at-large Councilmen Kenneth Fries and Kyle Kerley, Treasurer William Royce and coroner candidate Jon Brandenberger.
Cathie Humbarger, communications director of the PAC, said in a statement that the endorsed candidates "have been steadfast in representing the pro-life values of our region."
Four of the endorsed incumbents have opponents in the Republican primary. Banks is being challenged by Christopher Magiera, Busch by Tom Rhoades, Leonard by John Stoffel and Lehman by Taylor Isch.
Brandenberger is opposed by Joel Nagel for the open coroner's seat.
Incumbent at-large County Councilman Robert Armstrong was not endorsed by the PAC. The PAC endorsed neither of the candidates – incumbent Jeff Sorg and challenger David Devine – in the race for the Republican nomination for county surveyor.
Humbarger said in an email that the Right to Life of Northeast Indiana PAC does not consider endorsements of candidates who fail to return the group's candidate survey. She said neither Armstrong nor Sorg returned surveys.
Devine returned his survey after the deadline for doing so and after the PAC had met and determined its endorsements, Humbarger said. She said his answers will be included in the group's voter guide.