Republican congressional candidate Bruce Poliquin on Thursday received the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, the nation’s foremost Second Amendment advocacy group.
“Bruce is committed to fight for gun owners and hunters in Maine,” said NRA Political Victory Fund chairman Chris Cox. “He is the only candidate in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District who shares the NRA’s commitment to stand strong against the Obama-Bloomberg gun control agenda.”
The endorsement from NRA will likely bolster Poliquin’s support among voters in Maine’s rural, more conservative Second District.
In September, the NRA endorsed Gov. Paul R. LePage in the gubernatorial race. The group has not endorsed any candidates in the 1st Congressional District or U.S. Senate races.
Earlier in the year, the NRA had endorsed Poliquin’s Republican primary opponent, Kevin Raye. In the primary, Raye attacked Poliquin for his previous donation to a gun control organization and comments in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary that seemed to support mandatory background checks for gun purchases. In a column in the Bangor Daily News, Poliquin responded and clarified his earlier comments, declaring his commitment to defending the 2nd Amendment.
“I’m a strong supporter of our Second Amendment rights,” said Poliquin. “I do not support, and never have, the extreme objectives of national gun control groups, such as a federal directory of gun owners or expanded background checks.”
Second Amendment advocates Todd Tolhurst from Gun Owners of Maine and Blaine Anthony, the host of television show “The Bear Whisperer,” joined NRA in showing support for Poliquin at the press conference.
Poliquin’s Democratic opponent in the race, state Sen. Emily Cain (D-Orono), voted in June of 2013 in favor of a bill to require mandatory background checks for private gun sales.