(Editor’s note: This is the third in a four-part series on the 2008 elections and the Second Amendment. The next and last installment will examine state and local elections of note.)
While the 2008 election for president has dominated much of the gun rights debate, there are many other federal seats up for grabs this November. The gun rights records and beliefs of the winning candidates will go a long way to forming Second Amendment issues in the years to come.
With all U.S. House of Representative seats up for grabs, and a third of the U.S. Senate being decided, what follows is only a sampling. For easy reference “pro” means a candidate with a pro-gun record, while “anti” refers to someone on the other side of the fence, as determined by groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA). “So-so” reflects a mixed record, while “??” means no records or statements have been found.
In Alabama, incumbent Senator Jeff Sessions, R (pro), squares off against State Senator Vivian Davis Figures, D (pro).
Alaska’s senatorial race pits long-time incumbent Ted Stevens, R (pro), against Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, D (pro). The wild card in this race is Stevens current trial, where is defending himself against corruption charges.
In Arkansas, incumbent Mark Pryor, D (anti), got a grade of “D” by the NRA. Yet he is running against Green Party candidate Rebekah Kennedy, whose website does not even mention the Second Amendment.
An interesting race in Colorado, for an open seat. Contenders are U.S. Congressman Mark Udall, D (anti) versus former Congressman Bob Schaffer, R (pro).
The Illinois Senate race pits long-time anti-gun incumbent Dick Durbin, D, against Steve Sauerberg, R (pro).
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In Louisiana, incumbent Mary Landrieu, D has a “so-so” rating on gun rights. She’s up against State Treasurer John Kennedy, R (pro).
Maine senate incumbent Susan Collins, R (pro) takes on State Representative Tom Allen, D (anti).
Michigan’s long-time incumbent, and long-time anti, Senator Carl Levin, D, is opposed by
State Representative Jack Hoogendyk, R (pro)
Sounds like a bad joke, but in Minnesota incumbent Norm Coleman, R (pro) takes on comedian Al Franken, D (anti).
Two win-win situations in Mississippi: for one seat, incumbent Thad Cochran, R (pro) versus State Representative Erik Fleming, D (pro); for the other seat, incumbent Roger Wicker, R (pro) against former Governor Ronnie Musgrove D (pro).
An open seat in Nebraska has NRA-endorsed Mike Johanns, R (pro), a former secretary of agriculture against political newcomer Scott Kleeb, D, who’s views on the Second Amendment are not found on his campaign website.
Looks like a loss either way in New Jersey, with incumbent Frank Lautenberg, D (anti), taking on former Representative Rep Dick Zimmer, R (anti)
But it is a win either way in South Carolina, with NRA-endorsed incumbent Lindsey Graham, R (pro) versus Bob Conley, D (pro), NRA and GOA life member.
South Dakota race features incumbent Tim Johnson, D (so-so) against State Representative Joel Dykstra, R (pro).
Another open seat in Virginia, with former governor Mark Warner, D (so-so), versus former governor Jim Gilmore, R (pro).
House of Representatives:
CO: 1st Dist. Inc. Diana DeGette, D (anti) vs George Lilly, R (??)
CO: 6th Dist. OPEN Ted Harvey, R (pro) vs Hank Eng, D (??)
GA: 10th Dist. Inc. Paul Broun, R (pro) vs Bobby Saxon, D (pro)
IN: 5th Dist. Inc. Dan Burton, R (pro) vs Mary Etta Ruley, D (??)
IA: 3rd Dist. Inc. Leonard Boswell, D (pro) vs Kim Schmett, R (??)
MD: 6th Dist. Inc. Roscoe Bartlett, R (pro) vs Jennifer Dougherty, D (??)
MI: 2nd Dist. Inc. Pete Hoekstra, R (pro) vs Fred Johnson, D (??)
NJ: 5th Dist. Inc. Scott Garrett, R (pro) vs Dr. Dennis Shulman, D (anti)
NY: 4th Dist. Inc. Carolyn McCarthy, D (anti) vs Jack Martins R (??)
NC; 10th Dist. Inc. Patrick McHenry, R (pro) vs Daniel Johnson, D (??)
OH: 5th Dist. Inc. Bob Latta, R (pro) vs George Mays, D (??)
PA: 12th Dist. Inc. John P. Murtha, D (pro) vs Terry Ronzio, I (??)
SC: 2nd Dist. Inc. Joe Wilson, R, (pro) vs Rob Miller, D (??)
TX: 18th Dist. Inc. Sheila Jackson Lee, D (anti) vs John Faulk, R (pro)
VA: 8th Dist. Inc. Jim Moran, D (anti) vs Mark Ellmore, R (pro)
WI: 2nd Dist. Inc. Tammy Baldwin, D (anti) vs Peter Theron, R: (pro)
To read Part 1 of this special election series, The Senator from Illinois, Click Here.
To read Part 2, McCain and Gun Owners, A Strained Relationship, Click Here.
To read Part 4, Local & State Issues, Click Here