Freshman U-S Representative Heath Shuler broke away from his fellow Democrats yesterday and voted against an embryonic stem cell research bill.
It was the third major vote for Shuler. The pro-gun and anti-abortion Democrat is expected to break with his party on several issues.
Shuler says he believes the scientific advances from stem cell research can be accomplished without harming human embryos. He is co-sponsoring a resolution that would encourage federal funding for alternative methods of collecting stem cells.
Shuler is a former University of Tennessee and N-F-L quarterbeak. He beat eight-term incumbent Representative Charles Taylor in November.