The National Rifle Association on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of one candidate for the District 1 Georgia House of Representatives seat up for grabs this year, saying it had meant to endorse another hopeful but had made "an administrative error."
Vikki Mills had announced her endorsement by the powerful gun lobby in a press release earlier this week. But the NRA shot her down with a May 7 letter saying it had meant to back John Deffenbaugh instead.
Both are Republican candidates for the house seat from Lookout Mountain. But Deffenbaugh is a former incumbent who held the seat from 2013 until he was ousted by Colton Moore in the 2018 election. Moore is vacating the seat at the end of the year in favor of an attempt to unseat state Sen. Jeff Mullis instead.
"Representative [sic] John Deffenbaugh has earned the NRA Endorsement in Georgia House District 1 due to his proven record of supporting Second Amendment rights in the legislature," explained Art Thomm, NRA-ILA director of state and local affairs in the letter.
The letter advises Ms. Mills to take solace in her "AQ” rating. "This is the highest rating a candidate can receive without a voting record," wrote Thomm.
He further clarifies that the rating was based on the candidate's views as expressed in an NRA candidate questionnaire, "including your opposition to Red-Flag laws, Universal Background Checks, and licensing for firearm owners, as well as your publicly stated support for pro-gun legislation like Constitutional Carry."
In this rural, mountainous pocket of the South where all the candidates for the statehouse seat are Republicans striving to outgun each other in promoting gun rights, NRA's misfiring is a serious hit indeed for the jilted candidate.
An image of the letter is attached below.
Georgia's District 1 includes all of Dade and part of Walker County. Voters will choose among Ms. Mills, Deffenbaugh and another candidate, Mike Cameron, in the Republican primary on June 9.