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The Washington Post reports today that Dave Brat is focused on the economy after his stunning upset of Representative Eric Cantor last Tuesday.  He also is keeping the media at arm’s length:

Despite staging the biggest political upset in recent memory, Brat has remained completely out of sight since his victory party, while Cantor went on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Probably not a bad idea and not really all that unusual really.  Brat was not expected to win.  He took down Goliath and the national media wants to talk to him, and likely try to show he is not ready for the national stage.  Here’s a news flash – Brat isn’t running for the “national stage.”  He is running to be the congressman for the 7th Congressional District.  Apparently a lot of people wanted Cantor to be the 7th District congressman and when he ascended to the national stage they thought he lost touch with the people back home.  I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment but that seems to be what caused a lot of former Cantor supporters into Brat supporters this primary season.

Thanks to the Wall Street Journal Washington Wire Blog, we get a little glimpse of the 7th Congressional District Democrat candidate Jack Trammell.  Until Tuesday, he was operating a one man campaign with a homemade web site that gave just a information about his background:

Mr. Trammell, 50 years old, wrote on his original campaign website about admiration for John F. Kennedy, the fact that six of his family’s seven children are currently in college and that he lives on a farm at the intersection of a local highway and a river.

But that all changed Tuesday night with Cantor’s unexpected loss:

He launched a new website that is a cookie-cutter version of campaign splash pages. It has a form to collect email address and make a contribution. There’s a three paragraph biography. “He was an active worker on both Clinton campaigns in Kentucky … he also worked for the Dukakis campaign.” And it links to his bare-bones social media presence.

“When we saw the opportunity that Tuesday night’s vote presented to us we chatted with him about helping him revamp his website,” Robert Dempsey, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party, said. “We were able to offer him some helpful suggestions.”

You can bet with support for both Clinton and Dukakis, Trammell is not going to be campaigning as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

What once was expected to just be another sacrificial lamb put up against a well established incumbent is now a campaign where he is equal to his opponent – a little known individual with even less experience raising money.  We already know that the state Democratic Party is on board for Trammell and you can bet the national Democrats will join soon.  The question is, will the NRCC step in to provide the necessary fundraising assistance to help Brat hold this R+10 district.

The Richmond Times Dispatch (RTD) reports that national radio talk show personality Laura Ingraham was in town last night to give a boost to Dave Brat’s long shot campaign to oust House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.  While Brat’s supporters are posting on Facebook and telling anyone who will listen that Cantor’s barrage of direct mail is an indication that his internal polling is not going so well, the odds still favor a Cantor win over the badly underfunded Brat.  The question is whether it will be a resounding victory or less than stellar.  Observers may view a victory where Cantor secures less than 60% a blow to his standing as next in line to be Speaker of the House.

The Times article noted that some attending the event last night were meeting Brat for the first time, an indication that his campaign may be getting more attention, but will it be to little to late?

Brat gave his stump speech, telling the members of the audience, many of whom indicated they were seeing him for the first time, that he is running because Washington is broken.

The reporter reached out to Cantor’s campaign consultant who dismissed the event as another indication that the Brat campaign is being run out of Washington.  Ingraham broadcasts her program from Washington, DC.  I guess Brat could make the same charge about Cantor since Representative Paul Ryan was the featured speaker at the annual Cantor Campaign Breakfast this year.

It’s comment’s like the one made by Cantor’s consultant that probably prompted the RTD to run this editorial last Sunday.

Cantor has been endorsed by the NRA and has a strong voting record in support of our rights in both the Virginia General Assembly and the House of Representatives.  The 7th District GOP Primary is June 10th.

The NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) has posted an update to the candidate rating for 7th District GOP challenger Dave Brat.  Last week the web site noted  a “?” by Brat’s name, indicating that he had not returned his candidate questionnaire.  The campaign challenged that assessment, even to the point of a Brat supporter contacting this EVC.  That individual was directed to have the candidate or his campaign to call NRA Federal Affairs.  Apparently that occurred as today, the NRA-PVF web site now indicates that Brat has an “AQ” rating, meaning the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire indicates he is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment but does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.  The GOP Primary is June 10th.

The NRA Political Victory Fund (PVF) has posted the endorsements for the June 10th primaries in Virginia and has endorsed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 7th Congressional District and Congressman Rob Wittman in the 1st Congressional District for the June 10th Republican Primary.  Cantor received the NRA-PVF highest rating of “A+” and Wittman received an “A” rating.  Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat, had a “?” by his name, indicating that Brat apparently did not return his NRA candidate questionaire.    It is unknown why Brat would not have returned his questionnaire given he is running as the Tea Party supported candidate.  Wittman’s opponent Anthony Riedel received a rating of “AQ” indicating a pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.

In the 8th Congressional District Democrat Primary, gun owners have no choice from which to choose.  All of the  candidates either received a ? or an “F”.  One of the “?” candidates however is former Lt. Governor Don Beyer.  He was no friend to gun owners as Lt. Governor and when he was a candidate for Governor in 1997, was the darling of the gun ban crowd.

The NRA has what is commonly referred to as an “incumbant friendly” endorsement policy:

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. Of course, should a pro-gun challenger win his election, and stay true to support for our gun rights, then he will be the beneficiary of this policy when seeking re-election.

Our endorsement is not given lightly; it is something that is reserved for those candidates who meet certain criteria and something that must be earned.

Virginia gun owners in the 7th District have a true friend in Congressman Cantor.  While a member of both the House of Delegates in the General Assembly and the House of Representatives in Congress, Cantor has a voting record supporting our 2nd Amendment freedom.   In the 1st Congressional District, Wittman likewise has a voting record supporting our rights going back to his days in the General Assembly’s House of Delegates.

Please note the NRA is a single issue organization and is only concerned with the issue of our 2nd Amendment Rights.  In the 7th Congressional District, the intra-party contest between Cantor and Brat has come down to who is the most conservative.  Brat’s supporters believe Cantor has abandoned his conservative principles on issues such as spending and immigration.  Cantor has tried to paint Brat as a “liberal college professor” because of his serving as one of former Governor Tim Kaine’s economic advisors.  NRA would likely tell Brat supporters upset that the organization endorsed Cantor that none of those concerns were considered in their endorsement.  Obviously NRA does not lobby on the issue of immigration or federal spending.  Their issue is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and on that issue, Both Cantor and Wittman have been our friends.

We are just a couple weeks away from the 7th Congressional District Republican Primary and if you are like me, you can’t wait for this to end.  On the way to Lake Anna yesterday to spend Memorial Day with friends, you couldn’t miss all of the Tea Party homemade billboards along Rt. 33, some trashing Congressman Eric Cantor and some singing the praises of Randolph Macon Econ Professor and challenger Dave Brat.  Cantor’s campaign has painted Brat as a “liberal professor” that advised tax raising former governor and now U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.  Brat and his supporters (some of whom have been strong supporters of Cantor in the past) have cried foul.  There may be some hyperbole in that claim but Brian Kirwin has a post over at Bearing Drift that indicates the label “liberal college professor” may be on target, or at least may have been about nine years ago.

Now, Brat would not be the first person to change his views over time. But, his writings from 2005 does make one wonder just how thoroughly the Tea Party folks vetted their challenger or if it was simply “anybody but Cantor.”  And, those writings might explain why Tim Kaine chose Brat for his economic team.

Note: As of today, the NRA Political Victory Fund web site has not posted ratings for the June 10th Primary, but in 2012, Cantor earned the NRA-PVF highest rating of “A+”.  He has done nothing in the last two years that would indicate he will get a lower rating this year.

 

They Lied

Not gun related but it is election related and includes Virginia Senator Mark Warner.  This morning Jim Geraghty shared the below video as part of his Morning Jolt daily newsletter.

Obamacare is unpopular even in Virginia and “Mr. Bipartisan” Mark Warner could  take hits in is poll numbers if he is hammered enough with ads like this either by outside groups or the eventual GOP opponent.  The GOP will pick its candidate at the state GOP convention in early June.

Warner looked unbeatable going into this year’s election until former RNC and VAGOP party chairman Ed Gillespie jumped in the race.  If the GOP doesn’t commit suicide at its convention in June, the election could end up being a close race.  Despite his claims of bipartisanship, Warner has voted with Obama on almost every issue.  He also voted for the Manchin/Schumer/Toomey amendment to the 2013 gun ban legislation that would have criminalized private transfers of firearms.  For 13 years Warner has tried to cultivate a pro-gun persona.  One vote in 2013 likely changed all of that.  He wasn’t endorsed in 2008 but had an “A” rating from the NRA based on the fact he signed a number of pro-gun bills as governor.  His opponent in 2008 was former Governor and NRA Board Member Jim Gilmore, who also had an “A” rating.  We’ll see what the 2014 rating will be after having voted for Manchin as well as two anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, votes that the NRA scored.

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