A major New York gun rights group is breaking from their usual method of scoring candidates for elected office by giving Gov. Andrew Cuomo's running mate, former U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, an "F."
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association President Tom King said the group's political arm has given Hochul, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, an F. According to King, NYSRPA made a "special exception" for Hochul.
"We usually grade incumbents based upon their actions in office," King said in a statement. "Using that criteria, Hochul would have earned an 'A.'
"There's a reason not a single candidate in New York is sucking up to the gun prohibitionist groups. They're nothing but astroturf. They have never been able to turn out voters on their issue. Nevertheless, if it makes her happy, we'll give Hochul and 'F' rating and tell everyone to support Tim Wu instead."
Wu is challenging Hochul in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
Hochul's position on guns has been an issue for her since it was announced that she was joining Cuomo on the Democratic ticket. As a member of Congress representing a western New York district, she received the National Rifle Association's endorsement and an "A" rating from the group.
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Liberals have used the NRA endorsement to question Hochul's stance on gun issues. She has come out in support of the SAFE Act, a law adopted in January 2013 that has been criticized by gun rights groups, while saying that she continues to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.