JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Attorney General Chris Koster received the National Rifle Association’s nod Tuesday for Missouri governor over GOP rival Eric Greitens, yet another endorsement for the Democrat from a group that typically supports Republicans.
The NRA’s political action committee cited Koster’s record as a state senator and attorney general, including his support of a sweeping bill to expand gun rights that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed this year. The gun rights group also highlighted that Koster supported a concealed guns law in 2003 when he was a state senator, as well as a more recent constitutional amendment aimed at making gun-control restrictions subject to strict legal scrutiny.
“Chris Koster has never wavered from his Second Amendment beliefs. For over 17 years, he has fought to preserve the constitutional rights of law-abiding Missourians,” PAC chairman Chris W. Cox said in an email. “The NRA is proud to endorse Chris Koster and we urge Missouri’s gun owners and sportsmen to get out this November and vote to elect a governor with a proven record of fighting to preserve the Second Amendment.”
Greitens is a former Democrat and first-time GOP candidate who’s touted his military service and gun rights support. In one of his most attention-grabbing campaign ads, he shoots a big gun and causes a fiery explosion.
“We’re not gonna win the career politician insider endorsement contest,” campaign manager Austin Chambers said in an email. “But no one is stronger than Eric on 2nd Amendment issues and no one will fight harder to grow jobs and clean up the same old politics as usual holding Missouri back.”
Greitens also failed to get an endorsement during the primary from Missouri Right to Life’s political action committee.
Koster, a former Republican state senator, is the only statewide Democratic candidate to earn an NRA endorsement. In an email, Koster pledged to “continue to protect the traditions and values of people across Missouri” if he’s elected governor.
Last month, he won the backing of the political action committee of the Missouri Farm Bureau, one of the state’s most formidable agricultural organizations. The Missouri Pork Association, Corn Growers Association, Soybean Association and Cattlemen’s Association also endorsed him.
The general election is Nov. 8.