The returns were not even complete in Maryland's 1st District congressional election before two of the losers in the crowded Republican primary were making it clear that they would not support the winner in the coming general election. The principal reason: The winner, Wayne T. Gilchrest, favors abortion rights. Presumably, the two losers - Barry Sullivan and Richard Colburn - will support Democrat Roy Dyson in the November contest.
It's not likely that Gilchrest is losing a lot of sleep over the defection of Sullivan and Colburn. On the contrary, Gilchrest's prochoice position, as opposed to Dyson's anti-choice record, will on balance be an advantage in November in a year in which hardline anti-choice politicians are being turned out of office with a vengeance.
But the episode nevertheless underscores the fact that politicians like Sullivan and Colburn are not really party candidates but rather single-issue candidates. It matters little to them whether the candidate is a Republican or Democrat; all that matters is whether the candidate is pro-choice or anti-choice.