The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) released its much awaited endorsements and grades for the statewide candidates in Texas Wednesday. The PVF only made endorsements in two of the statewide races, those being in the races for Texas Governor and Texas State Comptroller.
In the race to succeed Texas Governor Rick Perry, the current Attorney General Greg Abbott received the PVF’s endorsement and a grade of A. Despite recent pro-gun statements by his Democratic challenger, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, as to her views on the Second Amendment, Sen. Davis received a D from the PVF. (See grading definitions below.) None of the other candidates in the race provided answers to the questionnaire sent out by the PVF. General Abbott’s campaign spokesman told Breitbart News they will release a statement regarding this endorsement in the near future.
In the race for Lt. Governor of Texas, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson received one of two A+ ratings from the PVF. The other A+ was issued in the race for Texas Comptroller. The incumbent in the race, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and his other two challengers, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and State Senator Dan Patrick, each received an A rating. No endorsement was made in this race.
The Texas Attorney General race also did not land an endorsement. However, State Senator Ken Paxton and Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman both received an A rating. State Representative Dan Branch came in third place with an A- rating.
The only other endorsement in this cycle went to State Senator Glenn Hegar in the race for Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Hegar also received the only other A+ rating. His challengers, State Representative Harvey Hilderbran and former State Representative Raul Torres, received A ratings while former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina came in fourth with an A- rating.
In making the endorsement for Sen. Hegar, NRA-PVF Chairman Chris Cox said in a statement released by the Hegar campaign, “Because of his strong record of supporting our rights, Glenn Hegar has earned an endorsement from the NRA-PVF. We urge NRA members and gun owners to vote Glenn Hegar for Comptroller of Public Accounts in the Republican primary election.”
Both candidates for Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush and David Watts, received an AQ rating. The rating of AQ means the candidate has no track record, and the rating is based upon answers to the questionnaire.
Former State Representatives Sid Miller and Tommy Merritt scored the high marks in the race for Agriculture Commissioner with A ratings. Former Republican Party of Texas Executive Director Eric Opiela received an AQ rating while J. Allen Carnes received a B-. Joe Cotton (no website) and the three Democratic candidates, Hugh Fitzsimmons, Kinky Friedman, and Jim Hogan (no website), did not reply to the PVF questionnaire.
The final race on the statewide ballot is for the office of Texas Railroad Commission (which has nothing to do with railroads and everything to do with the Texas energy industry). Former State Representative Wayne Christian received an A rating as the only candidate with a track record of gun-related votes. The other three candidates, Becky Berger, Malachi Boyuls, and Ryan Sitton, received AQ ratings. The two Democratic candidates did not respond to the questionnaire.
The PVF defines their grading system as follows:
A+: A legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.
A: Solidly pro-gun candidate. A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.
AQ: A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.
B: A generally pro-gun candidate. However, a “B” candidate may have opposed some pro-gun reform or supported some restrictive legislation in the past.
D: An anti-gun candidate who usually supports restrictive gun control legislation and opposes pro-gun reforms. Regardless of public statements, can usually be counted on to vote wrong on key issues.