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John Salazar and Betsy Markey: Colorado’s NRA Democrats

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If you make certain assumptions about politicians—like, say, Republicans are more gun-friendly–you might think your local GOP candidate is a shoe-in for an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. But Colorado politicos are hardly so predictable, and Democratic Congressman John Salazar has once again won the NRA’s backing, even though his opponent, Republican Scott Tipton, has publicly professed a love for guns, writes the Grand Junction Sentinel.

But Salazar, the 3rd Congressional District representative who’s been winning over the NRA since 2006, is an active hunter, and the NRA has given him an “A” rating on various issues, such as his support for legislation allowing people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and monuments.

Fellow Democratic incumbent Betsy Markey, who represents the state’s 4th Congressional District, is poised to also gain an NRA endorsement, joining the likes of tea partier Christine O’Donnell. That’s according to Markey’s competition, Republican Cory Gardner. As his campaign manager, Chris Hansen, says, matter-of-factly, “The NRA told us they were endorsing Betsy Markey” (via National Review).

Perhaps it was Markey’s critical vote for the DISCLOSE Act, which exempts nonprofits like the NRA from disclosing their donors. Regardless, Markey’s campaign is surely stoked: “Betsy has a strong record of supporting Second Amendment rights and has been a tireless advocate for Colorado’s hunters and sportsmen. With roughly 11,000 members in the 4th Congressional District, we’re very glad to have their endorsement,” Markey campaign spokesman Ben Marter tells the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Gardner’s campaign dismisses the endorsement as pure politics, noting that Gardner repeatedly supported the “Make My Day Better” gun-rights bill in the state legislature.

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