SANTA BARBARA, California (CWN) - A special election for a California congressional seat on Tuesday has turned into a litmus test for nationwide congressional elections this fall as well as the role social issues will likely play.

      Pro-life Republican Tom Bordanaro is facing pro-abortion Democrat Lois Capps, the widow of the former incumbent, Rep. Walter Capps' who died while in office on October 28, for the 22nd Congressional District seat. Bordanaro is a Catholic wheelchair-bound two-term assemblyman who has said he would vote against House Speaker Newt Gingrich for re-election to the post because of his failure to act on important social issues, while Capps, a former religion professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has said is a supporters of wide-ranging abortions rights, and has said she will vote to uphold President Clinton's veto of a ban on partial-birth abortions.

      The election has also received national attention because of the focus brought by numerous special-interest groups. Among groups buying huge blocks of radio and TV advertising time were Americans for Limited Terms, the Campaign for Working Families, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, National Right To Life, and Americans for Job Security.

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March 11, 1998 volume 9, no. 50         DAILY CATHOLIC