When it comes to her voting record, the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association loves what it sees from Kathy Hochul, the former congresswoman who is now Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate.
When it comes to her campaign positions … not so much.
The state chapter of the National Rifle Association gave Hochul a grade of “F” ahead of the Sept. 9 primary, even though her congressional record “would have earned an ‘A,” chapter president Tom King said in a statement.
The reason? King’s group feels Hochul is hiding from her record. On the campaign trail, Hochul is backing the SAFE Act, the series of gun-control measures passed last year and despised for the pro-gun group.
Instead, the Rifle and Pistol Association urges Democrats to support Hochul challenger Tim Wu.
“There’s a reason not a single candidate in New York is sucking up to the gun prohibitionist groups,” King said in a statement. “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 an ‘F’ rating and tell everyone to support Tim Wu instead.”
The criticism of Hochul from the gun group may actually be doing her a favor.
Wu has been deeply critical of the more-conservative aspects of Hochul’s record, including her former top rating from the NRA during her time in Congress. Hochul, meanwhile, has tried to tout her liberal credentials, and a knock from a gun-rights group despised by many on the left may help her do that.
UPDATE: In a conference call Tuesday, Wu said he is declining the endorsement of the gun group, saying he believes the group is trying to make “political hay.” He said he supports the SAFE Act and “reasonable gun control.”
(Democrat and Chronicle file photo)