NRA updates grades, endorsements for 2022; DeSantis, Patronis earn ‘A+’

Gun Rights

The National Rifle Association (NRA) has updated its grades for candidates, along with its endorsements in Florida’s races this year.

A new report card was published by the NRA-Political Victory Fund. That allows some politicians to boast to voters about their high score — and in some cases their low rating.

Of note, the organization has not endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for re-election and gave him a “B” grade. That said, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, his Democratic challenger this year, earned an “F” grade, so those whose vote is guided by the report card may still favor the incumbent.

Gov. Ron DeSantis pulled off an “A+” rating with the organization, a mark reserved for those who not only support items on the agenda but demonstrated a greater commitment to the organization’s agenda. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, DeSantis’ opponent in the General Election, earned an “F” from the organization.

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Attorney General Ashley Moody earned an “A” while Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis garnered an “A+,” while respective Democratic challengers Aramis Ayala and Adam Hattersley both received failing grades.

But state Sen. Wilton Simpson, the Republican nominee for Agriculture Commissioner, received a “B” grade and no endorsement. That’s especially striking as Democratic opponent Naomi Blemur has a question mark by her name. That’s reserved for those who refuse to fill out a questionnaire, and the NRA says it signals an “indifference, if not outright hostility” to gun rights.

As for congressional races, Republican U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds, Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube all earned “A+” grades. Most other GOP incumbents earned “A” grades, with U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart getting an “A-” but still receiving an endorsement.

But other incumbent Republicans have no endorsement with lower grades. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan had a “B-,” U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez received a “C” and U.S. Reps. Brian Mast and María Elvira Salazar each had a “D.”

All Democrats in the congressional delegation received failing grades.

In open races, Republican Cory Mills has an “A” in Florida’s 7th Congressional District, while Democrat Karen Green didn’t fill out the survey.

Republican Laurel Lee has a qualified “A” based on her questionnaire, as compared to Democrat Alan Cohn’s “F” in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. The same goes for Republican Anna Paulina Luna, as she faces Democrat Eric Lynn in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

But in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, Republican Aaron Bean has a “B” based on his state Senate voting record and earned no endorsement. Democrat LaShonda Holloway’s responses,however, earned her an “F.”

In Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, Republican Joe Budd has a qualified “A” to Democrat Jared Moskowitz’s “F,” but the NRA spent no political capital on an endorsement in the deep blue seat. The same situation played out in Florida’s 10th Congressional District, where Democrat Maxwell Frost had an “F” grade, but the NRA didn’t endorse the qualified “A”-earning Calvin Wimbish.

For state Senate, the NRA issued endorsements to incumbent Republican Sens. Dennis Baxley and Jennifer Bradley and candidates Nick DiCeglie, Erin Grall, Blaise Ingoglia, Jonathan Martin and Clay Yarborough.

As for state House, the nods went to incumbent Reps. Alex Andrade, Webster Barnaby, Mike Beltran, David Borrero, Adam Botana, Chuck Brannon, James Buchanan, Demi Busatta Cabrera, Mike Caruso, Linda Chaney, Wyman Duggan, Tom Fabricio, Juan Fernandez-Barquin, Sam Garrison, Mike Giallombardo, Tommy Gregory, Joe Harding, Fred Hawkins, Tracy Koster, Chip LaMarca, Patt Maney, Randy Maggard, Stan McClain, Fiona McFarland, Lauren Melo, Jim Mooney, Toby Overdorf, Jenna Persons-Mulicka, Alex Rizo, Spencer Roach, Will Robinson, Jason Shoaf, Tyler Sirois, David Smith, John Snyder, Josie Tomkow, Dana Trabulsy and Kaylee Tuck.

The organization also endorsed House candidates Shane Abbott, Daniel Alvarez, Jessica Baker, Doug Bankson, Kimberly Berfield, Dean Black, Robert Brackett, Tiffany Esposito, Alina Garcia, Griff Griffitts, Jeff Holcomb, Berny Jacques, Kiyan Michael, Bobby Payne, Karen Gonzalez Pittman, Rachel Plakon, Susan Plasencia, Juan Porras, Joel Rudman, Kevin Steele, John Temple, Chase Tramont, Taylor Yarkovsky and Brad Yeager.

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