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Friday, March 6, 2009

Republican Nomination for Attorney General

I have been asked why VSSA has not made an endorsement in the Republican nomination contest for Attorney General. While there may be an endorsement in the future, there are a couple of reasons why VSSA has not made an endorsement at this time. First, it is unusual for VSSA to endorse in nomination contests. VSSA will do everything we can to let you know about the candidates running - the first step in this process was allowing all three candidates to address the membership through the January issue of The Bullet.

Senator Ken Cuccinelli, one of the three candidates, needs no introduction to Virginia gun owners. He has been a stalwart supporter of our rights during his time in the Virginia State Senate. I know a number of VSSA members that live in his senate district have been volunteering for him at gun shows and other venues. He is also a member of the Arlington-Fairfax IWLA club.

Both of the other candidates, former U.S. Attorney John Brownlee and Dave Foster have expressed their support for an individual right to keep and bear arms. Neither have held elective office where they have cast votes on the issue (though Foster was a school board member in the past).

The second reason VSSA has yet to make an endorsement is the nomination is being decided by a nominating convention, not a primary. Nominating conventions are typically open only to members of the party holding the contest, where primaries in Virginia are open to all voters. To make an endorsement in this race would mean VSSA would be telling members to participate in a process that may require them to sign a pledge of support for all candidates of that party in the general election. VSSA is non-partisan and is uncomfortable with such a position. Gun owners should feel free to vote for the candidates that will protect our rights and they may not all be in the same party.

VSSA does believe that gun owners should be involved in the process that will determine the candidate of both parties in the general election so that the ultimate candidates will support our rights. In the case of the Attorney General race, it appears that only the Republican party has the opportunity to nominate a candidate that is pro-rights. The only candidate on the Democratic side is an NRA "C" rated candidate. Democrats are nominating by a primary that will be held in June.

Having said this, VSSA encourages members to contact all of the candidates to find out what their positions are on specific issues of importance to gun owners. If you would like to get involved in the Republican nominating process, you will have to pre-file to be a delegate to the May 29-30, 2009, nominating convention. There are deadlines this week in the following localities:

Fairfax(Saturday Deadline) Prince William(Saturday Deadline) Roanoke County(Saturday Deadline) Or Newport News(Friday Deadline)

If you want to support a particular candidate, contact them at the information provided below.

Senator Ken Cuccinelli: 1-703-766-0635
John Brownlee: 1-888-523-6724
Dave Foster: 1-703-349-2820

VSSA will be posting the deadlines for the remaining localities on the VSSA web site in the coming days.

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