Election Central

Smith wins gun rights group’s endorsement, but it’s not the NRA

The National Association of Gun Rights PAC, which calls itself America’s fastest-growing gun rights organization, is endorsing Idaho Falls lawyer Bryan Smith’s insurgent challenge to eight-term Idaho GOP Rep. Mike Simpson.

“(Smith’s) views on gun rights and rights in general don’t come as lip service to appease a particular single issue group, but from a deeply held core ideology on the Constitution,” said Lucius O’Dell, the group’s director of political affairs. “We are starting to see more and more ideologues running for Congress that understand the importance of strict adherence to our founding principles, and we would like to help that trend continue.”

Simpson has been repeatedly endorsed by the bigfooted National Rifle Organization, and given its top ‘A+’ rating, including the nod in the 2012 GOP primary over Smith ally Chick Heileson.  Simpson won that race 70 percent to 30 percent, but Smith is drawing substantial support from the GOP’s tea party wing.

The NRA has not yet announced its 2014 endorsements in Idaho. I asked NRA Public Affairs Director Andrew Arulanadam whether the NRA is wavering in its support of Simpson.

“Hell, no,” replied Arulanandam, a former executive director of the Idaho Republican Party.

A news release from Smith follows:

Smith Receives Endorsement From National Association of Gun Rights PAC

Idaho Falls, ID – Today, the National Association of Gun Rights PAC, a national gun rights advocacy group, endorsed conservative Republican Bryan Smith in the primary for Idaho’s second congressional district against eight-term incumbent Mike Simpson.

“I am thankful to receive the endorsement from the National Association of Gun Rights PAC. It is a group that is dedicated to advocating to protect our right to bear arms secured by our nation’s Constitution They have the same fight on the issue of our second amendment rights that I will bring to Washington,” said Bryan Smith.

“I was impressed by Bryan’s understanding and conviction regarding the Second Amendment. His views on gun rights and rights in general don’t come as lip service to appease a particular single issue group, but from a deeply held core ideology on the Constitution. We are starting to see more and more ideologues running for congress that understand the importance of strict adherence to our founding principles, and we would like to help that trend continue,” stated Lucius O’Dell, Director of Political Affairs.

The endorsements from the National Association of Gun Rights PAC, Citizens United PAC, FreedomWorks, the Madison Project, the Club for Growth and local Idaho elected officials are signs of the continued growing momentum of the Bryan Smith for Congress campaign.

Bryan Smith is a conservative Republican running for Idaho’s second congressional district. He is running against 16-year incumbent and big spending, career politician Mike Simpson. Bryan and his wife live in Idaho Falls.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics