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Akin continues race

Todd Akin vows to remain in the Missouri Senate race.

WASHINGTON — Congressman Todd Akin, under fire for controversial remarks on abortion and rape, insisted yesterday he would not leave the Missouri Senate race, despite pressure from fellow Republicans and talk of who might replace him on the November 6 ballot.

Akin – a staunch abortion opponent – vowed to stay in the contest against Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, indicating he represents a conservative movement that must be heard.

A 5 p.m. deadline passed with no indication he planned to take his name off the ballot.

Akin was defiant. His campaign posted a new web site yesterday seeking donations with a banner “I’m pro-life and I Stand with Todd Akin”. It had briefly featured a picture of a fetus and a picture of McCaskill with US President Barack Obama, but the fetus image was later removed.

“We are going to continue in this race for US Senate,” Akin told The Mike Huckabee Show, a radio programme hosted by the former Arkansas governor.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joined the chorus calling for him to pull out of his race after Akin claimed in a weekend television interview that it was extremely rare for women to get pregnant from “legitimate rape”.

“Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the senate race,” said Romney, who previously condemned Akin’s comments.

The outrage over Akin’s remarks sent waves of anxiety through the Republican Party a week before it reaches out to independent voters, especially women, at its national convention where it will nominate Romney to run against Obama.

Republicans fear the Akin episode could prevent them from winning in Missouri, lessening their chances of picking up the four seats they need ensure a majority in the 100-member Senate. (Reuters)

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