Illinois: NRA Backs Halvorson Despite Her Party Label

Posted October 27, 2008 at 6:27pm

The National Rifle Association endorsed state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jerry Weller (R) last week, calling her “a key ally for gun owners.”

“The Illinois state legislature is not often a friendly place for gun rights,” the firearms lobby wrote in its endorsement. “With anti-gun demagogues such as Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and [Chicago] Mayor Richard Daley (D) constantly pressing for even more restrictions on Second Amendment rights, it can be a tough place to stand up for freedom.

“But Sen. Halvorson has done just that over the past decade in the Illinois Senate,” the NRA added. “When her party leaders pressed an anti-gun agenda, Halvorson pushed back.”

Halvorson remains locked in a contentious battle with Chicago-area concrete magnate Martin Ozinga. The GOP political novice has been the subject of more than $750,000 worth of negative ads paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Halvorson, who must draw significant conservative support to win, said in a statement, “I couldn’t be more proud to have the NRA by my side.”

“Protecting the Second Amendment isn’t just an election year issue for me,” she said. “For more than a decade, I’ve fought hard to protect gun owners from politicians who want to unduly restrict your right to own a gun, and I’ll keep up the fight in Congress.”