2016 Grass Roots North Carolina Candidate Recommendations

Feb
29

Candidate recommendations versus evaluations: Below are recommendations for effective voting strategies by the Grass Roots North Carolina Political Victory Fund. Candidate recommendations, which are more limited than blanket “endorsements,” are not made in all races, only in races where a clear pro-gun candidate stands out or where strategic voting is necessary to keep anti-gun candidates out of office.

Recommendations differ from GRNC candidate evaluations. While the evaluations are intended to provide an objective measure of where candidates stand on Second Amendment issues, GRNC–PVF recommendations are analytical and therefore subject to interpretation. For a full explanation of GRNC’s objective star evaluations, go to:
http://www.grnc.org/remember-in-november/grnc-candidate-evaluations-2016

Important note: Candidates who lack voting records or other history on Second Amendment issues and who fail to return GRNC’s candidate survey automatically receive a zero star evaluation (0) on the assumption that they are hiding their position from gun voters. Every election year, we receive complaints about ostensibly pro-gun candidates who receive zero star evaluations due to failure to return the survey. Each candidate is mailed a survey to the address he or she registered with the State Board of Elections. If they fail to return the survey, we cannot help candidates who will not help themselves.

Voting instructions: Primary election One Stop Early Voting begins on March 3 and ends on March 12. Absentee ballots must be received by 5:00 PM on March 15. Primary voting day is March 15 between 6:30 AM and 7:30 PMClick here to find your polling place on election day, or click here to find your One Stop Early Voting place. 

Important changes to voting laws: Due to ongoing litigation, same-day registration will still be permitted during One Stop Early Voting. Litigation involving redistricting applies only to U.S. House races. All other primaries will take place on March 15. Although North Carolina has rescheduled Congressional primaries for June 7, congressional races will remain on the ballot and GRNC recommends you still cast a ballot for U.S. House on March 15.

As in previous years, unaffiliated voters may vote in either Republican or Democrat primaries. Unlike previous years, straight party voting will not be permitted, so GRNC strongly suggests you investigate individual candidates. For the first time, identification is required to vote, so click here to find identification requirements.

GRNC CANDIDATE RECOMMENDATIONS

(Note: the NC State Board of Elections has made numerous changes to presentation of candidate data which now, unfortunately, contain numerous errors. We have tried to catch those errors but apologize if some of them have been allowed to propagate into GRNC evaluations.)

US President (R): Despite his assertions that he supports the Second Amendment, DONALD TRUMP (GRNC 1-star, *) has supported semi-auto bans, waiting periods and, most recently, denying gun purchases to people on secret government lists convicted of nothing. MARCO RUBIO (****) has an excellent gun rights voting record, but has failed to take a leadership role on the issue. Only TED CRUZ (****) has a 100% pro-gun voting record, has sponsored pro-gun legislation, and answered GRNC’s candidate survey with a perfect 100% score. GRNC–PVF recommends Ted Cruz for President.

US Senate (R): Undoubtedly, the most pro-gun candidate in the Republican primary election is Greg Brannon, who again returned GRNC’s candidate survey with a perfect 100%, earning a four star evaluation (****). For purposes of the primary election, GRNC–PVF recommends Brannon. That said, however, he is unlikely to win the primary election. Incumbent Richard Burr has dropped only one gun vote and holds a three star evaluation (***). GRNC–PVF recommends supporting Burr in November.

US House

(Note: The recommendations below are based on original districts. Litigation over congressional districts will likely change this candidate list for the June 7 Congressional primaries. Congressional recommendations will change as needed.)

District 2 (R): Of the three challengers to Renée Ellmers, only Tim D’Annunzio returned GRNC’s candidate survey. Although he scored 100%, earning a GRNC four-star evaluation (****), D’Annunzio has proven himself unsuitable in previous elections. Meanwhile, whatever her other conservative credentials, Ellmers has maintained a 100% pro-gun voting record, also earning GRNC’s highest four-star evaluation (****). GRNC–PVF recommends Ellmers for Congress.

District 3 (R): With a 100% survey score and a 97% pro-gun voting average, earning a GRNC four-star evaluation (****), GRNC–PVF continues to recommend incumbent Walter Jones.

District 4 (R): In the Republican primary for the seat anti-gun Democrat David Price has occupied for two decades, GRNC–PVF recommends Sue Gooch, who returned GRNC’s candidate survey with a score of 81%, earning three stars (***). Opponent Teiji Kimball failed to return the survey, earning a zero star evaluation (0).

District 5 (R): With a 100% GRNC survey score and 100% pro-gun voting record earning GRNC’s highest four-star evaluation (****), GRNC–PVF continues to recommend incumbent Virginia Foxx.

District 6 (R): Although the US House has not had any gun votes in the 114th Congress, on the basis of his 99% survey score and GRNC four-star evaluation (****), GRNC–PVF recommends Mark Walker.

District 7 (R): Due to his 100% pro-gun voting record, earning GRNC’s four-star evaluation (****), GRNC–PVF recommends David Rouzer.

District 9 (R): Realizing that incumbent Robert Pittenger has drawn fire from some conservative quarters, owing to his 91% survey score and 100% voting record, earning GRNC’s four-star evaluation (****), GRNC–PVF continues to recommend Robert Pittenger.

STATEWIDE RACES:

North Carolina Governor (R): Although challenger Robert Brawley garnered a 100% pro-gun voting record while in the NC House, earning GRNC’s four-star evaluation, he lacks the resources to beat anti-gun Democrat Roy Cooper (GRNC 0-star) in the November general election. Meanwhile, despite flaws, incumbent Pat McCrory has signed three pro-gun omnibus bills into law. GRNC–PVF recommends McCrory.

NC Governor (D): Both candidates in this race are ranked 0–star by GRNC. Democrat gun voters should vote to keep current Attorney General Roy Cooper out of office. During his tenure in the NC Senate, Cooper demonstrated a long-standing antipathy to gun rights, including only a 58% pro-gun voting record. Accordingly, GRNC–PVF recommends Ken Spaulding.

North Carolina Attorney General (R): For the open seat vacated by Roy Cooper, candidate Jim O’Neil failed to return GRNC’s candidate survey, earning only a GRNC zero star evaluation (0), and has made disparaging remarks about pro-gun bill HB 562, showing his antipathy to gun rights. By contrast, NC Senator Buck Newton has been a leader for gun rights, cementing passage of three omnibus pro-gun bills. With his 100% survey score and 100% pro-gun voting record, Newton earned GRNC’s highest four-star evaluation. GRNC – PVF recommends Buck Newton for Attorney General.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner (R): Incumbent Steve Troxler (GRNC 0-star) has proven himself no friend of gun owners. After HB 937 legalized concealed carry at assemblies, Troxler continued to post the NC State Fair despite being prohibited by law. He later solicited Sen. Brent Jackson to sponsor legislation enabling him to prohibit concealed carry. Then Troxler, apparently at the behest of former Food Lion CEO Tom Smith and big dollar donations, ended up in a scheme to promote trophy deer farms at the risk of destroying indigenous deer populations through chronic wasting disease. By contrast, challenger Andy Stevens is a gun rights activist and conservative who has overturned local gun restrictions across the state, and who vows to reverse Troxler’s cronyism. Stevens returned GRNC’s survey with a perfect 100%, earning a four-star evaluation (****). GRNC–PVF recommends Andy Stevens for Agriculture Commissioner.

NC Senate:

District 11 (R): For this open seat, Rick Horner returned GRNC’s survey with 97%, earning four stars (****). Opponent Benton Sawrey failed to return the survey earning only a zero star evaluation (0). GRNC–PVF recommends Horner.

District 31 (R): Challenger Dempsey Brewer turned in a 97% survey earning four stars (****), but due to her 98% survey and 100% pro-gun voting record, GRNC–PVF continues to recommend incumbent Joyce Krawiek (****).

District 33 (R): Both Kathy Dunn and Joe Kennedy turned in four-star (****) surveys, scoring 100% and 96%, respectively. Eddie Gallimore failed to return the survey earning only a zero star (0) evaluation. GRNC–PVF recommends Dunn.

District 35 (R): Noting that challenger Matt Daly turned in a 90% survey, earning four stars (****), due to a 100% pro-gun voting record, GRNC–PVF continues to recommend incumbent Tommy Tucker (****).

District 36 (R): For this open seat, Parish Moffitt turned in a 99% survey, earning four stars (****), while opponents Amy Blake and Paul Newton failed to return the survey earning zero stars (0). GRNC–PVF recommends Moffitt.

District 44 (R): Although challenger Chris Carney turned in a 100% survey, earning four stars (****), GRNC-PVF continues to recommend incumbent David Curtis (****) due to his 100% pro-gun voting record.

District 45 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Ken Boham (survey score 86%, ***) over Deanna Ballard (survey-NR, 0-star).

District 48 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Lisa Baldwin (survey score 97%, ****) over Dennis Justice (survey-91, ****) and Chuck Edwards (survey-NR, 0-star).

NC House:

(Note: A large number of open seats plus a number of RINOs who voted against gun owners on omnibus pro-gun bill HB 562 make NC House race is critical in 2016.)

District 6 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Beverly Boswell (survey 86%, ***) over Arthur Williams (survey-NR, 0-star) and Ashley Woolard (survey-NR, 0-star).

District 28 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Gregory Dail (survey 96%, ****) over Tony Braswell (survey-NR, 0-star) and Larry Strickland (survey-NR, 0-star).

District 36 (R): Longtime incumbent Nelson Dollar (***) voted against gun owners repeatedly on HB 562 and now has only a 74% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Mark Villee (survey 93%, ****).

District 53 (R): Longtime incumbent David Lewis (***) voted against gun owners repeatedly on HB 562 and now has only an 82% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Chuck Levorse (survey 91%, ****).

District 67 (R): Pro-gun incumbent Justin Burr (****) has a 97% pro-gun voting record and has sponsored pro-gun legislation. As a proven gun rights leader, GRNC-PVF recommends Justin Burr over challenger Lane Burris (survey 99, ****).

District 73 (R): Incumbent Lee Zachary (***) repeatedly voted against gun owners on HB 562, garnering only a 78% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Dwight Shook (survey 100%, ****).

District 77 (R): Longtime incumbent Harry Warren (***) voted against gun owners repeatedly on HB 562 and now has only an 85% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Andrew Poston (survey 98%, ****).

District 82 (R): Incumbent Larry Pittman (****) is one of the most pro-gun members of the NC General Assembly. Garnering a 96% pro-gun voting record, Pittman has sponsored numerous pro-gun bills and his stood up against party leadership on behalf of gun owners. He is being targeted by RINOs who are behind “centrist” challenger Michael Fischer (survey-NR, 0-star). GRNC-PVF strongly recommends Larry Pittman.

District 87 (R): Incumbent George Robinson (***) repeatedly voted against gun owners on HB 562, garnering only a 78% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Destin Hall (survey 100%, ****).

District 91 (R): In this three-way primary, incumbent Kyle Hall was appointed in late 2015, meaning he has no gun rights voting record. Because he failed to return the GRNC survey, he holds a zero star (0) evaluation, as does challenger Robert Knight (survey-NR, 0-star). GRNC-PVF recommends Ira Tilley, who returned the survey with 100%, earning four stars (****).

District 92 (R): Incumbent Charles Jeter (**) repeatedly voted against gun owners on HB 562, garnering only a 69% pro-gun voting record. GRNC-PVF recommends challenger Tom Davis (survey 93%, ****).

District 93 (R): Pro-gun incumbent Jonathan Jordan (****) has a 97% pro-gun voting record and has sponsored pro-gun legislation. As a proven gun rights leader, GRNC-PVF recommends Jonathan Jordan over challenger Lou Hendricks (survey 97, ****).

District 95 (R): Anti-gun incumbent John Fraley repeatedly voted against gun owners in the debate over HB 562, earning only a 67% pro-gun voting record and a zero star evaluation (0). GRNC-PVF recommends challenger David Thompson (survey 93%, ****).

District 105 (R): In the race for this open seat, Tim Morgan (***) returned an 86% survey, but in the past has used his school board to agitate against the limited concealed carry provisions on educational properties enacted in 2013, demonstrating that he is not a friend of gun owners. Opponents Scott Stone returned GRNC survey with 90%, earning four stars (****). GRNC-PVF recommends Scott Stone.

District 113 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Cody Henson (survey 92%, ****) over Coty Ferguson (survey-NR, 0-star).

District 115 (R): For this open seat, GRNC-PVF recommends Bob Chilmonik (survey 97%, ****) over Frank Moretz (survey-NR, 0-star).

District 119 (R): In this race to challenge anti-gun incumbent Joe Sam Queen, both Aaron Littlefield and Mike Clampitt turned in perfect 100% surveys, earning four stars (****). Given that Clampitt nearly defeated Queen in 2014, GRNC-PVF recommends Mike Clampitt.

District 120 (R): For this open seat, Kevin Corbin turned in a 95% survey earning four stars (****), but the clear standout is Elliot Southworth (****) who not only turned in a near-perfect 99% survey, earning four stars, but has also volunteered his time as a gun rights activist and directed youth shooting sports. GRNC-PVF recommends Elliot Southworth.

Copyright 2016, NorthCarolinaGunTrust.com