Republican Lieutenant Governor candidates Brad Lager and Peter Kinder are both vying for the votes of Missouri's conservative gun owners in the August 7th primary. One group that supporters of the 2nd Amendment look to when trying to decide who to vote for in an election is the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA provides a letter grade-style rating that mirrors a school grade ranging from A+ to failing and both Lager and Kinder have earned A+ ratings.
But only one candidate has been endorsed by the NRA: Peter Kinder.
Two sources familiar with the NRA's endorsement policy have told me that if there are multiple candidates in a race who have the same rating, then the NRA will endorse the incumbent. In other words, the fact that Peter Kinder is running for a third term as Missouri's Lieutenant Governor helped him "earn" the NRA endorsement. All else being equal, I oppose incumbents, so knowing that the NRA's endorsement policy favors incumbents, I'll be sure to look to the ratings behind this and future NRA endorsements to make a more informed decision.
The fact of the matter is that Peter Kinder has been legislatively AWOL during his years as Missouri's Lieutenant Governor. One of the few duties that the Lieutenant Governor performs is to break tie votes in the Missouri Senate. There have been five tied votes during Kinder's tenure and he missed them all. In Kinder's defense, none of those tie-breaking votes involved 2nd Amendment issues. Nonetheless, that eight year legislative record has got to give pause to voters who expect their elected officials to prioritize our 2nd Amendment civil liberties because the first step to defending gun rights is a reliable record of voting.
Therefore supporters of the 2nd Amendment should vote for Lager instead of Kinder because Lager has not only earned the highest rating offered by the NRA, but that ranking is underscored by his recent votes in the Missouri Senate in defense of 2nd Amendment. Furthermore, voters can count on Brad Lager to be there to when the chips are down--he has rarely missed a vote in his legislative career.