I noticed something interesting on this month’s November issue of American Rifleman, the magazine of the National Rifle Association (Yes, I’m a member).
It was no surprise to me that the NRA endorses Gov. John Hoeven,Â a Republican who received an “A” rating from the group for his actions on gun and hunting policty, but I did find it interesting that they endorsed Rep. Earl Pomeroy, the Democrat incumbent in the U.S. House of Representatives. Â
I had expected the NRA to endorse Pomeroy’s challenger, Rep. Rick Berg, a Republican state representative from Fargo, because the Republican Party has traditionally been more in favor of gun rights than the Democrats. That may sound biased, I realize, but consider that Pomeroy is the only Democrat seeking office on the entire North Dakota ballot who received an NRA endorsement. (There were some Legislature races where neither Republicans nor Democrats were endorsed, but statewide, the Republicans tended to get better grades).
I realize the NRA is a single-issue organization and is not officially aligned with any party, but both Berg and Pomeroy were awarded “A” ratings by the NRA, which according to the magazine means theyÂ each are aÂ “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.”
By the NRA’s metric, the two candidates are equal on gun-related issues, but Pomeroy got the endorsement. This makes me wonder how they made the decision. Could it be because he’s an incumbent? Because he’s a pro-gun Democrat? Was it because of past votes on gun issues on a national level over a longer career compared to Berg?
What do you think? I still haven’t made up my own mind who to vote for in the Pomeroy-Berg race, but you’re welcome to share who you think is the better candidate in the comments section.
I’ll put inÂ a call to the NRA tomorrow and ask them, if I get time. You can see all the NRA’s endorsements on this website. Also, the NRA linked to this National Review article which explains their endorsement decisions on several races, but not North Dakota’s.
UPDATE: Looked a little closer, found an answer. NRA has a link on its U.S. House page for North Dakota and the words “Why we endorse this candidate” in a link under Pomeroy’s name. When you click the link, this text pops up, referring to Pomeroy’s actions: