Battleground Races for the Second Amendment

posted on October 2, 2022
man voting
Sergey Tinyakov/iStock

In my monthly column in this issue, I let you know about getting more involved with our election and campaign activities. I want to make sure you have every opportunity to help ensure success come Election Day on Nov. 8. Now, let’s talk about some of the key races.

Starting with the U.S. Senate, where anti-gun Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has the power to break all ties with her vote as President of the Senate, we must wrest control from those opposed to the freedoms guaranteed by the Second Amendment in the 2022 midterms.

In Arizona, as in most of the races I will cover, the choice is clear. Blake Masters (R), the challenger, is a vocal supporter of the Second Amendment, who supports nationwide concealed carry and opposes federal firearms databases and gun registries. His opponent, the current U.S. senator, Mark Kelly (D), is a reliable rubber-stamp for any anti-gun bill promoted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D). Kelly is also a co-founder of Giffords; one of the major groups promoting further gun control in the U.S. today. Blake Masters has the NRA-Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) endorsement, and his victory would help return one of Arizona’s Senate seats to a reliable pro-gun vote, as well as help remove control of the United States Senate from the likes of Schumer and the Biden-Harris team.

Georgia also offers an opportunity to flip control of the Senate. Football legend Herschel Walker (R) has made it clear that he does not believe more gun-control laws would reduce violent crime, but would merely hamper the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, their families and their loved ones. In contrast, the current U. S. senator, Raphael Warnock (D), has consistently railed against the Second Amendment, has co-sponsored a ban on semi-automatic firearms like the venerable AR-15 and is supported by anti-gun organizations. Walker is endorsed by NRA-PVF.

Adam Laxalt (R) is running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, and has a solid history of supporting the Second Amendment, which earned him the NRA-PVF endorsement. When he served as Nevada’s attorney general, he engaged in numerous amicus briefs supporting the right to keep and bear arms and joined many other pro-gun AGs in supporting national concealed-carry reciprocity. His opponent, U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro (D), is another automatic vote against the Second Amendment. She supports so-called “universal background checks” and bans on standard-capacity magazines, and she voted for the gun-control law Biden signed earlier this year. Electing NRA-PVF-endorsed Laxalt is the obvious choice for those who support our right to keep and bear arms, and his victory would be yet another opportunity to flip the Senate to a pro-gun majority.

Another clear-cut choice between a pro-Second Amendment candidate and one who is opposed to law-abiding gun owners is in North Carolina, where current U.S. Representative (and gun store owner) Ted Budd (R) is running for U.S. Senate. Representative Budd has earned his NRA-PVF endorsement by consistently voting for our firearm freedoms. His opponent, Cheri Beasley (D), has earned the endorsement of the anti-gun lobbying organization Giffords, likely due to her stated support for so-called “universal background checks” and blaming violent crime involving firearms on law-abiding gun owners. A win by Budd for a seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R) is critical if we are to succeed in taking control of the Senate away from anti-gun extremists like Chuck Schumer.

It seems like Wisconsin is always at the top of the list for battleground states come election time, and this year is no different. NRA members and gun owners already have a champion in Sen. Ron Johnson (R), and we need to do everything we can to make sure he is reelected. He has been a consistent vote in favor of our right to keep and bear arms, earning an “A” rating and NRA-PVF endorsement. In contrast, his opponent, Mandela Barnes (D), is yet another Giffords PAC-endorsed, anti-gun candidate. He also has been designated as a “Gun Sense Candidate” by the extremists at Moms Demand Action—a gun-ban group funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Re-electing Ron Johnson is an easy choice for anyone in Wisconsin who supports the rights of law-abiding gun owners and wants to see the U.S. Senate under the control of people who respect the Second Amendment, rather than those who want to destroy it.

In Pennsylvania, the race is between Mehmet Oz (R) and John Fetterman (D). Oz, a retired surgeon and former host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” has stated his support for the Second Amendment, the right to self-defense and strong due-process protections, and has been endorsed by NRA-PVF. Fetterman, on the other hand, has not only called for passage of gun-control measures like so-called “universal background checks” and bans on semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines, but also has called for abolishing the filibuster in order to ram through these radical proposals. His anti-gun views have earned Fetterman the endorsement of the anti-gun Giffords PAC. This is another race where we need to win if we are to keep anti-gun extremists from continuing to control the Senate.

But U.S. Senate races are not the only critical elections for the Second Amendment this November. Many states will be electing their governors in 2022. And, few elected offices can have as much direct impact on our rights as a state’s chief executive. With four pro-gun governors signing NRA-backed constitutional-carry bills only this year, it’s easy to see why.

In the Peach State, Georgia voters will be presented with a clear choice to protect the Second Amendment this November. The incumbent, Brian Kemp (R), has been a steadfast supporter of our constitutional right to keep and bear arms for nearly two decades, never wavering in the fight to expand and protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Georgians. That support culminated earlier this year when he signed constitutional carry into law. His NRA-PVF endorsement is well earned.

Governor Kemp’s opponent, Stacey Abrams (D), has vowed to repeal constitutional carry, as well as to increase restrictions where law-abiding citizens may carry a lawfully possessed firearm for self-defense. Abrams has been a vocal gun-control proponent for many years, including when she first ran against Gov. Kemp in 2018.

Kansas offers the pro-gun community an opportunity to replace an anti-gun governor with one who supports their rights. Current Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) is the obvious choice for defending the Second Amendment. As AG, he signed “friend of the court” briefs on several landmark cases, including NYSRPA v. Bruen, in which the Supreme Court ruled the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding Americans to carry a firearm outside of the home. His opponent, Gov. Laura Kelly (D), has vetoed pro-gun legislation, including important improvements to the state’s concealed-carry laws. Derek Schmidt’s NRA-PVF endorsement is clearly well earned, as is Kelly’s “F” grade.

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is seeking a return to the governor’s mansion. LePage has a stellar record of supporting the Second Amendment, including signing into law Maine’s constitutional-carry law in 2015. He also worked hard to defeat the 2016 anti-gun ballot initiative spearheaded by gun-ban billionaire Bloomberg, which sought to outlaw most private transfers of firearms in the Pine Tree State. Returning Paul LePage to the office of governor should be at the top of the list for all Maine voters on Nov. 8.

In Arizona, Kari Lake (R) is the clear choice for those who cherish our rights as law-abiding gun owners. Her campaign website makes it pretty clear where she stands on the Second Amendment, which simply states: “Shall. Not. Be. Infringed.” That helped earn her the NRA-PVF endorsement. In stark contrast, her opponent, Katie Hobbs (D), has earned an “F” rating by voting against numerous NRA-backed pro-gun bills while serving as a state senator.

Then, there’s Beto.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is yet another pro-gun champion who signed constitutional carry into law last year. But his 2022 opponent, perennial loser Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D), claims, “When I’m governor, we will repeal permitless carry.” That is, of course, the same O’Rourke who lost to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) in 2018, and then had to bow out of the 2020 Democrat presidential primary before a single vote had been cast. That’s the same election where he tried to turn “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15 ...” into a campaign slogan.

Beyond his signing of Texas’s constitutional-carry law, in the last two Texas legislative sessions, Gov. Abbott signed 22 other pieces of pro-gun legislation, which is why he has the endorsement of NRA-PVF.

While these races are critical for our success in the 2022 midterm elections, there are many others around the country that require gun owners’ attention and votes. Just to name a few, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be taking on an, as of press time, undetermined challenger who will almost certainly lack Gov. DeSantis’ commitment to protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

Michigan and Wisconsin both present additional opportunities to replace current anti-gun governors. In Michigan, Tudor Dixon (R) is running to unseat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), and, in Wisconsin, Tim Michels (R) is taking on Gov. Tony Evers (D). At the federal level, another race to watch is occurring in Ohio for the senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R). There, J.D. Vance (R) is running to help restore a pro-Second Amendment majority in the United States Senate. 

We will be alerting NRA members about endorsed candidates in countless other federal, state, and local elections prior to Election Day on Nov. 8. Please keep an eye out for these alerts and be sure to share them with likeminded voters.


Doug Hamlin, Executive Vice President & CEO
Doug Hamlin, Executive Vice President & CEO

Standing Guard | It Is Time For An NRA Homecoming

This organization is a family and when we get together, we win.

President’s Column | NRA’s Momentous First Amendment Victory

The NRA fought back against government overreach and we won.


Perhaps the greatest threat to our right to keep and bear arms at the federal level are regulations created by unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch.

What Kamala Would Do

Now that Kamala Harris has been endorsed by Joe Biden to succeed him, it’s important to look at how she’d treat our Second Amendment-protected rights.

The Armed Citizen® July 19, 2024

True stories of the right to keep and bear arms.

How is J.D. Vance on the Second Amendment?

Now, more than ever, freedom and liberty need courageous and virtuous defenders.

Get the best of America's 1st Freedom delivered to your inbox.