- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 28, 2010

Missy Reilly Smith knew going into the race for a congressional seat that she faced several uphill challenges.

First of all, she’s taking on Eleanor Holmes Norton, a beloved D.C. liberal of Republicans, Democrats and independents. Second, Mrs. Smith is a Republican running in a city whose voters think GOP stands for Grand Old Patriarchs. And then there’s her uncompromising pro-life stance.

Liberals and some Republicans relish in calling such people anti-abortionists, not that Mrs. Smith cares. She calls them baby killers and RINOs (Republicans in name only).

Mrs. Smith is running because she wants to exorcise the lethargy from the city’s electorate and push it to think before it votes.

Indeed, that is Mrs. Smith’s biggest challenge since D.C. Republicans are morphing into Democrats.

Unlike her female counterparts, whether that be Maxine Waters or Connie Morella, Michele Bachmann or Donna Edwards, Mrs. Smith does not have the backing of her party.

Her battle for the ballot is as much a culture war as it is a gender war.

Men, who control the D.C. Republican Party, do not have abortions, and men often walk out of their children’s lives after a woman chooses life.

For their part, D.C. Republicans are urging their party cohorts to write in a Democrat in the mayor’s race.

Go figure.

Blessedly, Mrs. Smith won the primary, garnering 1,919 votes, or 87 percent of the Republican ballots cast on Sept. 14.

Yet, leading up to the primary, there were more than 29,700 registered Republicans, but only 2,645 of them, or 8.9 percent, bothered to even show up at the polls.

Despite the D.C. Republican Party’s rejection of her and her traditional-values platform out of hand, Mrs. Smith and her supporters will continue courting voters — and they are especially beholden to residents East of the Anacostia River.

Many of you are familiar with that geographical term, which is often used as the cultural divide to distinguish the haves from the have-nots.

East of the river also is a largely black traditional-values stronghold, where same-sex marriage doesn’t play well, and where teens and young women are choosing life instead of abortion.

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