TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 19 (UPI) -- The National Right to Life Committee, the leading U.S. anti-abortion rights group, endorsed two candidates in Florida's GOP Senate race Monday.
Former U.S. Housing Secretary Mel Martinez and Florida House Speaker Johnnie Byrd were both endorsed by the NRLC endorsement because, political director Carol Tobias said, "Of all the candidates in the race, Martinez and Byrd are the two who are consistent in the pro-life positions they take."
A dual endorsement, Tobias told UPI, is not something the NRLC gives on a regular basis.
"It's not standard practice for the NRLC to endorse more than one candidate in a given race," Tobias said. "They both have excellent records on our issue. We would be happy with either one of them in the U.S. Senate."
Martinez and Byrd consistently finish among the top three candidates in surveys of likely Florida GOP primary voters.
The third, former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, lost out on the group's endorsement because his position on stem-cell research-related issues is at odds with the committee's.
The Florida Republican Senate primary is scheduled for Aug. 31.