June 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

Right to Life Michigan endorses both 8th District candidates in GOP primary

Lansing— Right to Life of Michigan indicated Monday it will be neutral in the Aug. 5 Republican primary for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District by endorsing both GOP candidates.

Right to Life endorsed former Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop of Rochester and state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills.

McMillin is a social conservative who has trumpeted his anti-abortion position and argued he is a “solid, consistent conservative” compared with his opponent.

Bishop has contended he is a tea party conservative who is not too rigid to compromise on certain issues but not abortion. His campaign released a statement indicating Right to Life’s “endorsement further exemplifies Bishop’s conservative leadership and commitment to protecting life.”

“We didn’t choose one over the other. We endorsed both,” said David Malone, political action committee director for Right to Life of Michigan.

Bishop said he is “honored and humbled” by the endorsement.

“I am proud of my 100-percent pro-life record and commitment to protecting the sanctity of life, born and unborn,” he said in a Monday statement.

McMillin said Monday he would seek to contrast his record on battling abortion with Bishop’s past votes in the Legislature. McMillin pointed to his 2010 opposition to an abortion clinic in Auburn Hills — outside his House district — and service on the board of Auburn Hills-based Crossroads Pregnancy Center, which counsels women to carry their child to term.

“I think people will appreciate it’s not just the vote, I don’t just press the right button, but it’s my actions for the unborn,” McMillin told The Detroit News. “We’ll make a distinction.”

Bishop, an unsuccessful candidate for Oakland County prosecutor in 2012, is chief legal officer for International Bancard Corporation and an adjunct professor at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing.

Malone said Right to Life of Michigan would post all of its endorsements online Tuesday.

gheinlein@detroitnews.com
Staff Writer Chad Livengood contributed.