Mike McWherter said he isn’t disappointed the National Rifle Association opted not to endorse anyone in the Tennessee race for governor, even though he has been a long-time member of the group.
But the Democratic gubernatorial candidate was taken aback that the association gave his GOP rival and NRA newcomer higher marks than he got in its voting recommendations to members.
“I guess the NRA accepts the fact that (Haslam) has completely flip-flopped on that issue,” McWherter told reporters after leaving a private meeting with the Association of Chiefs of Police Wednesday night in Nashville.
Haslam scored a “B-” from the group, although his stances on gun control were under fire during the primary election when fellow Republicans charged that he was weak on gun rights. Haslam, the Knoxville mayor, became a member of the NRA after he began campaigning for governor. He also joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but later left the group.
McWherter scored a “C-,” and has said he opposes laws that allow individuals to bring their guns with them into bars, which became legal this year when the Legislature overrode Gov. Phil Bredesen’s veto.
Thus far, the NRA has been mum on their reasoning for refusing to endorse a candidate in the race.