The 2008 Primary is now history.
John McCain, who has a long history of anti-gun activity, won Oregon’s primary against the most pro-gun candidate for president (possibly ever,) Congressman Ron Paul. (In spite of the lies you may have heard from the mainstream media, Paul has not dropped out of the race.)
The NRA has now officially hitched themselves to McCain who worked overtime in 2000 to support Ginny Burdick’s ballot measure to end private sales of firearms at gun shows. (His efforts were successful.) In the past, they attacked him.
New York’s rabidly anti-gun mayor is using video of McCain as part of an ad campaign against gun ownership.
No doubt you have heard about the very ugly primary race for this seat, Oregon District 5.
Erickson has no legislative history, but did show us his NRA survey. It was mostly pro-gun, although not at all an indication of a candidate who will be a leader for gun owners. Ericskon was attacked by his primary opponent Kevin Manniix, late in the campaign with serious claims against Erickson’s personal integrity. Whatever the merits of those charges, (and there may be plenty) Kevin Mannix himself has a long history of playing fast and loose with the truth.
It was Mannix who wrote the bill to destroy gun shows that OFF members defeated in 1999. This was the bill that served as a model for Ginny Burdick and John McCain’s ballot measure in 2000.
Mannix carried the bill on the House floor in 1999, and reading from a script prepared by a group pretending to be pro-gun, lied about our efforts to defeat it. He later claimed that he opposed the bill, when he was running for governor. Except he wrote it, lobbied for it and carried it.
We cannot predict whether or not Erickson would be good for gun owners. We do know that Mannix was a proven enemy of gun owners and we hope he takes this last defeat as a cue to leave the political stage. But we presume Mannix will continue to run for every available office, as long as there is a media stage available.
The Democrat who won is Kurt Schrader. Schrader is also no friend of gun owners and supported Mannix’s anti-gun show bill. Schrader will certainly side with anti-gun Democrats should he win this seat.
The Democratic race for US Senate pitched two candidates with solid liberal credentials against each other, and a third with similar views, but less background. While Jeff Merkley will certainly be no friend to gun owners, the other leading candidate, Steve Novick, was without question one of the worst candidates for public office Oregon has hever seen.
Novick has been a point man for the anti-gun crowd and argued for them in court when OFF opposed the Burdick/McCain gun show ballot measure in 2000. (Oddly,Novick also used one of his many government jobs to attack home schoolers calling them “drug dealers.”) While we believe Merkley will be bad, and we know that Gordon Smith has been no friend to gun owners, we believe Novick was as bad as any extremist anti-gunner we have ever seen.
In the race for Attorney General, Democrat John Kroger handily beat Democrat Greg MacPherson in spite of Macpherson’s onslaught of misleading attack ads against him. (The Republicans had no candidate.)
We do not know what Kroger’s feelings about gun ownership are, but we do know that MacPherson was one of the most outspoken and shrill opponents of gun rights in the Oregon Legislature, and one of the most arrogant. His loss in this race is a great win for gun owners, since now he will be gone from the Legislature in addition to not being Attorney General.
Some of the most pro and anti-gun candidates were running unopposed, which means whoever won those primary races will most likely face no opposition in the general election. There have been attempts made in a few cases, however, to get opponents on the ballot through write in campaigns. So, there may still be some competition in the general.
One race we watched carefully was the Republican race for House District 52. That race was won by Matt Lindland. Lindland won in spite of false accusations by the campaign manager of his opponent that he was a convicted felon. (That person also happens to be the wife of former Senator Bob Packwood.)
Lindland is a mixed martial artist who responded to OFFPAC’s candidate survey with a very pro-gun position. Matt’s victory was a bright spot for gun owners and we wish him the best in the general election. You can see a list of all the primary winners here.