The Phoenix Flyer

National Rifle Association gives Adam Putnam its top rating

By: - July 18, 2018 12:00 pm
Florida Phoenix

It’s that time of year in Tallahassee, when the National Rifle Association weighs in with its annual grades of every candidate on the ballot in the August 28 primary.

Adam Putnam

The top dog for the NRA is Adam Putnam, the self-described “NRA sellout” who has seemingly regretted making that remark in the wake
of the Parkland high school shooting, as well as the steady drumbeat
of reports that staffers at his Agriculture Department mishandled reviews for concealed weapons permits.

Putnam gets an A+ from the NRA, while his GOP gubernatorial
opponent, Representative Ron DeSantis, comes just below him with
an A.

Three of the Democratic candidates for governor – Andrew Gillum,
Philip Levine and Gwen Graham – all get an F grade, something
they’re surely proud of.

Graham certainly is. Her campaign released a statement Tuesday
night with the headline, “Graham Wears NRA ‘F’ Grade As Badge of

“I’ve always prided myself on good grades, and this is the proudest
I’ve ever been,” she slyly noted in that press release.

Chris King received a question mark, while Jeff Greene, a latecomer
to the race, was omitted from the survey.

In the race for attorney general, Pensacola Republican Frank White
received an A+, with his GOP opponent, former Hillsborough County
Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody getting an A.

Both Democrats in the AG race, State House Rep. Sean Shaw and
Hillsborough County attorney Ryan Torrens, received question marks
next to their names.

A question mark indicates that the candidate did not respond to the
NRA’s questionnaire.

Anna Eskamani, a Democrat running for a Florida House seat in
Central Florida, not only did not return the NRA survey, but went on
Twitter last month to reveal some of the questions being asked in the

Those included questions on whether or not candidates would repeal
parts of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act
– specifically the three-day waiting period and the age limit of 21 years
to purchase a gun.

“Candidate questionnaire from the @NRA, sent to me a week before
the two year mark of #Pulse. Hard pass, and heading to the recyle bin.
@NoNRAmoney #NeverAgain #sayfie #flapol” tweeted Eskamani.

Governor Rick Scott signed that legislation, which the NRA strongly
opposed. It also included banning “bump stocks” that increase the rate
of gunfire, as well as allowing some school employees to carry

Since the NRA only graded candidates running the August 28 primary,
Scott didn’t get a grade, and neither did Scott’s opponent in the U.S.
Senate race, Democrat Bill Nelson.

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Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has covered politics and government in Florida for more than two decades. Most recently he is the former politics reporter for Bay News 9. He has also worked at Florida Politics, Creative Loafing and WMNF Radio in Tampa. He was also part of the original staff when the Florida Phoenix was created in 2018.