Summer has arrived, the bonfires are lit, the candidate field is nearly set - there's only 127 days left until Election Day 2014.
A lot has happened over the past few weeks. Let's recap the major events and then we'll share what the summer will look like for gun rights in Minnesota.
At this point, all of the major parties in Minnesota, along with many of the minor parties, have held their conventions and chosen their endorsed candidates.
Here's an update on our endorsed candidates and a look at the major races in Minnesota.
US Senate Race
Our endorsed candidate for US Senate, Julianne Ortman, did not win the endorsement, losing to eventual winner Mike McFadden. Julianne has always stated that she would abide by the endorsement and has since withdrawn from the race.
Julianne is a staunch supporter of the civil rights of gun owners. While we're understandably disappointed with this result, we're excited to have her back in the Minnesota Senate in 2015.
We'll be re-evaluating this race since our endorsed candidate is out of the running. Read ahead for more details.
Minnesota Governor Race
We deliberately chose not to endorse a candidate prior to the primary in the Minnesota Governor's race as the majority of candidates are strong Second Amendment supporters.
Jeff Johnson, currently a Hennepin County Commissioner, won the endorsement of the Republican Party. There are three other declared Republican candidates in the governor's race, so the eventual nominee will be decided by the primary election in August.
What's next for endorsements?
Early next month, along with our friends at the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, we'll be issuing a joint GOCRA/MNGOPAC survey to all registered candidates in all parties in the following races:
- US Senate
- Minnesota Constitutional Offices
- Minnesota House
- County Sheriffs
The survey will ask a series of questions related to the civil rights of gun owners in Minnesota along with several general questions around their campaign. We'll be sending this survey to every candidate who has registered for the races in November.
As in past election cycles, GOCRA will then use this information to independently rate candidates with a letter grade - MNGOPAC will use this information, along with other inputs, to determine if a candidate has earned the endorsement in their particular race.
While our endorsement criteria will remain confidential, it will consist of responses to the survey (focused on gun rights), input through candidate grading from gun rights organizations, and their viability as a candidate.
In other words, we're looking for staunch gun rights supporters who have a chance of winning the race.
In most cases, we will issue endorsements prior to the primaries in August - but in some races, we may choose to delay until the primary has been held.
Changes at the PAC
As we gear up our efforts for the summer endorsement season and the fall election cycle, I've taken on the additional responsibilities of leading the PAC on a day to day basis as Executive Director. I'm also continuing to hold my Treasurer position.
Mark Okern, as before, continues as our Chairman.
This new leadership arrangement allows us to have a leader devoting more hours to the PAC (and gun rights!) each week - helping to propel our efforts forward.
Don't forget about our July 4th Giveaway!
Our giveaway, planned for July 4th, has been wildly popular.
We're giving out a Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle and a Viridian C5L Green Laser Sight & Tactical Light along with some accessories to two lucky winners.
If you haven't already - please do two things for me today:
- Signup for the Giveaway.
- Use the "Forward to a Friend" button at the bottom of this e-mail to share this giveaway with your friends, family, and co-workers.
Executive Director & Treasurer