NRA Takes Sides in Alabama GOP Runoff

Posted July 2, 2008 at 1:11pm

Commercial insurance broker Wayne Parker, who is in a runoff for the Republican nomination in the Huntsville-based 5th district in Alabama, picked up the endorsement of the National Rifle Association this week.

Following the endorsement, Parker’s campaign released a statement about the importance of Second Amendment rights in light of the landmark Supreme Court decision last week that overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban.

“While last week’s Supreme Court decision was a major victory for individual gun ownership, there is sure to be legislation that challenges that decision on every level,” Parker said. “Gun owners will need someone that will stand up for their rights during that process.”

Parker, who came within about 500 votes of locking up the Republican nomination in last month’s primary, is facing Huntsville attorney Cheryl Baswell Guthrie in the July 15 runoff. The winner will earn the right to take on state Sen. Parker Griffith (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Bud Cramer (D). Griffith, who was endorsed by Cramer before his own primary, has also earned the endorsement of the Blue Dog Coalition of fiscally conservative House Democrats.

Parker, who was the GOP nominee against Cramer twice in the mid-1990s, is clearly the preferred candidate of the national party in this battleground race. Though the National Republican Congressional Committee has remained neutral in the runoff, its chairman, Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), cut Parker a $5,000 check from his own political action committee late last month.