NRA endorses Jerry Kilgore; B1
Daily Staff Writer
WINCHESTER — Republican gubernatorial nominee Jerry Kilgore came to Winchester on Thursday and attacked Democrat Tim Kaine with a fresh National Rifle Association endorsement in his pocket.
Before the day was out, he had an endorsement from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s PAC to go with it.
Kilgore, the former Virginia attorney general, launched a daylong air tour of western Virginia with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne La-Pierre at Winchester Regional Airport, where the group’s endorsement was announced.
“Time and time again, the record has been clear. Jerry Kilgore has been on the side of the Second Amendment, on the side of law-abiding hunters and sportsmen in this state,” LaPierre said. “And Tim Kaine has been opposed.”
Later in the day, the Kilgore camp announced that they’d been tapped by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee.
“Mr. Kilgore earned the support of NOVABizPAC because of his overall stronger support for the Fairfax County Chamber’s priorities and policy agenda,” PAC Chairman Mi-chael Lewis says in a written statement. The group also endorsed Del. Bob McDonnell, R-Virginia Beach, the GOP nominee for attorney general.
“It means a great deal to me to have earned the support of the business community in Fairfax,” Kilgore said. “Fairfax County is an economic engine powering Virginia’s economy, and this endorsement is proof that business leaders in that area recognize that I am the pro-business, pro-ownership candidate in the race.”
The reaction from the Kaine campaign was muted.
LaPierre’s announcement of the NRA’s second endorsement of Kilgore this year wasn’t a surprise to the Kaine campaign, press secretary Delacey Skinner said.
“Tim Kaine has very clearly stated his support for the Second Amendment,” Skinner said. Kaine’s efforts on behalf of the state’s hunting and fishing amendment to the Virginia Constitution bear that out, she added. Warner has kept a promise not to introduce new gun laws.
“Four years ago there were people saying ‘Tim Kaine and Mark Warner were going to take your guns away,’” she said. “That hasn’t happened.”
The NRA’s endorsement is largely about the state’s “one gun per month” rule, she said. Current law prohibits the purchase of more than one handgun per month in the state. Kilgore has said he’d look at a repeal. Kaine supports the law.
“That’s the primary difference between these two candidates,” Skinner said.