Walz picks up NRA endorsement over Quist

WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association endorsed DFL Congressman Tim Walz's bid for a fourth term on Tuesday, snubbing Walz's Republican contender, Allen Quist.

The organization gave Walz an "A" rating for his "proved record of defending the Second Amendment."

"I grew up hunting and spent 24 years in the Army National Guard. I know how important Second Amendment rights are to the people of southern Minnesota. I'm proud to stand with the NRA members across southern Minnesota to protect our Second Amendment rights, and I'm truly grateful for their endorsement," said Walz in a statement released by his campaign.

Despite not receiving the NRA's nod, Quist also earned an "A" rating from the group.

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The Quist campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the endorsement.

"Allen Quist has been endorsed by the NRA in the past and has always had an A+ NRA rating. The policy of the NRA is to endorse the incumbent if that person is anywhere near their position. So this Walz endorsement was expected," said campaign manager Julie Quist, in a written statement.

The gun rights group has also endorsed Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann, Chip Cravaack and John Kline and DFL U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson.

In June, Walz and Peterson bucked House Democrats and supported a Republican and NRA-backed measure to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his actions related to an investigation into botched gun smuggling operation. In its endorsement, the NRA cited the vote as part of Walz's record.