The political arm of the national abortion rights movement yesterday endorsed Del. Kenneth C. Montague Jr., a Democratic legislator from Northeast Baltimore running for the 7th District congressional seat in the March 5 primary.
In a rare move in a primary, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) threw its support behind Mr. Montague, citing his efforts as a "tireless and unyielding pro-choice advocate."
Kate Michelman, NARAL's executive director, made the announcement yesterday at a fund-raiser in North Baltimore for Mr. Montague, a member of the group's national board since 1991.
Ms. Michelman said the NARAL board, and in particular, the separate board of its political action committee, felt so strongly that it broke from its policy of not endorsing in the primary.
"This is a test of experience, and Ken Montague is truly a person who has worked on behalf of reproductive liberties -- not just abortion rights, but the right to health care, the right to contraception and the right to sex education," said Ms. Michelman, whose group has more than 500,000 members nationwide.
She noted that a win in the primary is tantamount to winning the seat, because Democrats in the 7th District outnumber Republicans by more than 4-1.
Final forums this week in 7th District race
As the March 5 primary approaches, the last two candidate forums in the campaign for the 7th District congressional seat vacated by Kweisi Mfume have been scheduled for this week.
At 7 p.m. tomorrow, the Lakewood Chase Community Association and 10 other neighborhood groups plan a forum at Bibleway Missionary Baptist Church, 2423 E. Biddle St., between Montford and Milton avenues.
A forum sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore, Free State Justice Campaign, and People of All Color Together is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Waxter Center for Senior Citizens, Cathedral Street, north of Eager Street.