Group gauges candidates’ stance on gun rights

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


Conservative group Grass Roots North Carolina has praised Republicans and panned Democrats running for Congress and the state legislature in its “Remember in November” voter guide charting candidates’ support for gun rights.

In the 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, both U.S. Rep. George Holding and challenger Allen Chesser received four-star evaluations, the highest mark for Second Amendment support.

In the Democratic primary for Holding’s seat, Linda Coleman was the only candidate to complete a survey GRNC distributed, scoring 67 out of a possible 100 and earning one star. Her opponents, Wendy Ella May and Ken Romley, did not return the survey and received zero-star ratings.

Incumbents are scored on their voting histories and survey responses, while challengers’ scores are based solely on the answers they provided to the Grass Roots North Carolina survey.

In the 1st Congressional District contest, Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield received a zero-star score based on his voting record. Republican challenger Roger Allison of Durham scored high on the survey and earned four stars.

Sen. Toby Fitch, D-Wilson, received zero stars in Senate District 4. Republican challenger Richard Scott earned a four-star rating and Libertarian hopeful Jesse Shearin received zero stars.

State Sen. Rick Horner, R-Nash, has a four-star rating and Democratic challenger Albert Pacer did not return the survey and was tagged with a zero-star score in Senate District 11.

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, was tagged with a zero-star rating. Her presumptive opponent, independent conservative Ken Fontenot, is not listed on the Grass Roots North Carolina guide, likely because his registration will only become active if his unaffiliated ballot access petition drive is successful.

Grass Roots North Carolina says it is an all-volunteer political group whose members share a common interest in defending the Constitution’s individual liberties. GRNC describes itself as “North Carolina’s only ‘no-compromise’ gun rights organization.”

The “Remember in November” voter guide “estimates where candidates stand on gun issues by comparing their views with those of a control group of gun owners,” according to GRNC. Four-star candidates agreed with the control group at least 90 percent of the time. Three-star scores designate 80 percent agreement, two-star scores note 70 percent and one star 60 percent or more.

Survey questions centered on assault weapons, a phrase the group placed in quotation marks to note that many gun owners do not consider it an accurate term to describe tactical semiautomatic rifles, as well as concealed handguns, gun storage laws, gun rationing, other gun control policies and the Second Amendment.

Grass Roots North Carolina says star ratings should not be considered endorsements.

“Pay more attention to voting records than survey results unless, of course, you believe politicians never lie,” the group states on its website.