NRA Candidate Endorsements
(March 5, 2009) Every year about this time the NRA sends out ballots and voting information to all of their members eligible to vote (Lifetime and 5 consecutive year Annual Members.) Each year we look at the candidates and offer our suggestions on which candidates we think will serve the best interests of the membership. Here are those recommendations for this year in alphabetical order:
Scott Bach, John Burtt, Joe DeBergalis, Owen Mills, Don Saba, Bob Viden.
We recommend that members vote for no more than 6 or 7 candidates because the fewer candidates you vote for, the more weight your votes hold.
There are 75 three-year seats on the NRA Board of Directors and 1 one-year seat. Each year 25 seats, one third of the Board, come up for election. There are often one or two unfinished terms thrown into the mix as well. The incumbent Directors almost always run for reelection and win reelection better than 90% of the time. There are typically no more than 2 or 3 Directors who choose not to run for reelection. This year the Nominating Committee nominated 30 candidates to fill 26 seats. There is also one candidate who was nominated by petition of members, but was passed over by the Nominating Committee so there are 31 candidates to fill 26 seats on the Board. Twenty four of those candidates are current members of the Board running for reelection leaving only 3 seats as “open.” Among the 7 non-incumbents nominated by the Nominating Committee are 2 who are recent past Directors, 4 who enjoy some “celebrity” status, and one very active activist.
Among the candidates up for reelection are the current Board President as well as both the First and Second Vice-Presidents along with many long-time members whom we expect to win easy reelection. Several of the “new” Nominating Committee candidates are pretty sure bets too. I expect Ronnie Barrett to be among the top 5 vote getters with Richard Childress of NASCAR fame and George Kollitides, who seems to be featured in half of the gun magazines, to come in high on the list as well. For activists to cast votes for any of these “sure thing” candidates is just a waste because these folks are going to be elected regardless. The votes that are really going to matter are those cast for the candidates who are not “sure things,” the folks who might come in somewhere below 20th place.
Scott Bach, John Burtt, and Don Saba did pretty well in the voting when they were elected 3 years ago, but they all had some extra exposure at the time that helped to boost their vote counts. We don’t think these three are in serious danger, but they are among the dozen or so candidates who we think could be nudged out and we think they are good, hard-working Directors who deserve another term. Bob Viden has come in low in the voting in his past several races and might be shaky again this year. Bob was the victim of a pretty vicious attack campaign a few years ago which has hurt his standing, but he has been a good Director and is needed on the Board. Joe DeBergalis and Owen Mills are both appearing on the ballot for the first time. Owen Mills is the head honcho at Gun Site Academy and as such should skate to a pretty easy victory, but he doesn’t have the name recognition of Ronnie Barrett or the PR machine of George Kollitides. Mills has been active in the NRA, serving on several Board committees over the years, and brings an important personal protection perspective to the mix. Joe DeBergalis is an activist/enthusiast out of New York who has a proven record of working hard for the cause. DeBergalis has been campaigning hard for a seat on the NRA Board and we think he deserves a shot.
These 6 are by no means the only candidates on the ballot we think are good Directors or will serve the members well, but they are the 6 we support who we think are most likely to need the extra boost our readers can provide.
Ballots for NRA Directors were included in the March issue of NRA magazines and must be received back by April 29 so get yours in the mail today.
To learn more about candidates and discuss the NRA elections visit www.GunVoter.org.
The NRA is only as strong and principled as its Board of Directors decides it should be and the Board of Directors is only as strong and principled as you make it. Let your voice be heard, vote for only these 6 candidates or for candidates you know personally and with whom you believe you wield some direct influence.
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©Copyright 2009 Neal Knox Associates