NRA says it will announce grades and endorsement for House Seat 24 candidates next week
Unsurprisingly, all the Republican candidates running for the open Florida House District 24 seat are pro-gun rights.
Three of the five candidates–Jose Juarez, Charlie Stone and Ryan Chamberlin–have sent out campaign mailers leading up to the March 7 special election boasting of having rock-solid pro-gun stances.
Juarez tells the story of his family fleeing the communism of Cuba when Fidel Castro confiscated guns from citizens. He says preserving rights under the constitutional Second Amendment is “non-negotiable” to him.
Chamberlin has promised to fight for gun rights.
Stone, who held the Florida House District 22 seat from 2012-2020 before term limits prevented him from running again, touts his voting record as proof he’ll keep his commitment to protect second amendment rights.
One mailer that came out this week from Stone drew scrutiny for including the NRA’s badge and the statement, “Endorsed by National Rifle Association,” because the NRA had not issued an endorsement in this race yet.
Stone told the Gazette, “The mail piece did not say endorsed for this race. I have been endorsed for the eight years prior while in the House. We are currently endorsed by Marion Hammer with the NRA of Florida and the Unified Sportsman of Florida. You will see her quote on the next mail piece.”
“Perhaps it would have been clearer if we had said historically endorsed by NRA,” Stone said.
Art Thomm, state director for the NRA’s legislative priorities, said of Stone’s mailer, “I suppose there is a fine line between saying you have been historically endorsed and then the currently endorsed candidate.” However, he said Stone had a “solid record supporting the interests of NRA members.”
Thomm told the Gazette the NRA makes decisions on endorsements based on these three things: a prior voting record, which is heavily weighted; the candidate’s answers to the NRA’s questionnaire; and a thorough search of statements made by candidates on social media and to news outlets.
Thomm said the NRA will be posting candidate grades and an endorsement next week at https://www.nrapvf.org/.