Democratic Senator Opposes Personhood
In their quest to find Democrats who oppose the Personhood amendment, the Huffington Post only found two Democratic state Senators who would talk to them and just one who opposes it. They spoke with Sen. Bob Dearing, who said he is likely going to vote for the initiative, but Sen. Deborah Dawkins called it “crazy” and admitted that she is going to vote against her constituents.
Here is what she said: “My position on anything tends to be what the position of the people who elected me is, but sometimes there are these hot-button issues that people are not well-informed about because they don’t know the whole story. I don’t think they understand that it would put an end to stem cell research and in vitro, and it is to the Republicans’ benefit for them not to understand. But surely some other people besides me realize this is about controlling women, and I don’t particularly like to be controlled.”
Kind of reminds me of Democrats who supported Obama’s healthcare legislation against the wishes of their constituents. But then the comments got even more interesting. Dawkins basically said other Democrats need to win re-election because “they’ve got to have a job.” But since she is financially stable and apparently nearing the end of her career, she can follow the national Democratic platform, and her personal wishes over her constituents, when it comes to issues like abortion.
Looking at her voting record more closely, she certainly is on the liberal side of the Senate; one of the few white legislators who can make that claim in either chamber. Over the past four year term, she received an F from BIPEC in each session except 2010- when she managed to receive a D. And that is generally on par with earlier grades when the group issued numerical scores.
Moreover, she calls herself a “progressive” on Facebook and a look at her wall backs that description up. She refers to voter ID as “a poll tax by another name.” Voter ID, again, is an issue voters in her district will be deciding on this fall, and likely support.
But Dawkins, who is now seeking a fourth term, has obviously won her Harrison county district in the past. In 2007, she defeated Ashley Skellie 53-47, so not an impressive win (especially for an incumbent), but a win nonetheless. But the district is an interesting one. Its lost nearly 6,000 residents over the past decade- only SD 50 has seen greater losses along the Coast. The BVAP is now in the mid-30s, about the highest of any on the Coast, but not so much that Republicans automatically don’t have a chance. (Democrats failed to field a candidate for SD 47 which has similar demographics).
Dawkins faces a rematch with Skellie this November. I don’t think it’d be a far-fetched prediction to call this a toss-up once again (I guess that’s not really a prediction), with a Skellie win certainly a possibility. But if Dawkins was to lose, along with the good chance that SD 46 (being vacated by Sen. David Baria) goes Republican, the GOP would take control of every Senate seat along the Coast (SD 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52).