WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Rifle Association has endorsed former senate President Kevin Raye in the Republican Primary for Maine’s Second Congressional District, the Raye campaign announced on Friday.
The NRA is the foremost advocate for gun rights at the state and federal levels. Their stamp of approval could carry weight with voters in northern Maine, who will head to the polls on June 10 to nominate a GOP contender in the race to fill a congressional seat recently vacated by Democratic U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud.
But just because NRA endorsed Raye doesn’t mean they’re critical of his opponent, former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, or his stance on guns.
According to the group’s rankings, Raye is rated “A”, while Poliquin is rated “A-“.
NRA’s endorsement policy strongly favors incumbents and politicians with documented voting records. According to the group’s website, “NRA has an incumbent-friendly policy that dictates our support for pro-gun incumbents seeking reelection. It is important that we stand with our friends who stand with us in Congress or the state legislature through their actions.”
That Raye has a voting record on gun issues and Poliquin does not may have been a factor in NRA’s endorsement decision.
“The NRA endorsement is a huge boost to Kevin’s campaign,” said Raye spokesman Mike Leavitt in a press release.
“Kevin has consistently earned ‘A’ ratings from the NRA ffor his strong record in support of gun rights and his strong advocacy for the Second Amendment in the Maine Senate,” he said.
This story will be updated.