FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES PULL STRINGS
A Republican primary candidate has been able to swing an endorsement that no other non-incumbent has been able to get: The prized NRA endorsement.
How it came about is a closely guarded secret: The NRA isn’t saying.
Kelly Merrick, a housewife in Eagle River who has not held elected office or voted on legislation relating to the Second Amendment, has won the NRA endorsement for District 14.
It’s an anomaly in the NRA list of endorsements and comes in spite of the fact that her lead opponent, Jamie Allard, is a U.S. Army veteran who is married to a now-retired Green Beret. Jamie earned the same “AQ” rating from the NRA as Kelly Merrick.
What gives? While Kelly Merrick may not be a veteran, she is the wife of Joey Merrick, the powerful head of Laborers 341. Kelly and Joey have friends in high places.
The National Rifle Association doesn’t typically endorse those who have not actually been elected. The highest rating a non-incumbent can normally get is AQ, the Q meaning questioned. They don’t get the Q removed until they are actually tested in real life as an elected official.
This Merrick endorsement is a curious bending of the rule and it can only mean that Merrick got someone influential to make an exception.
Merrick sent a letter to union members across Alaska using her NRA endorsement to raise money.
In all Alaska races, candidates who have not yet served in office are receiving the “Q” ratings by their letter grades, per normal NRA practice, but no other AQ rated candidate has received an NRA endorsement. The NRA has made an unexplained exception to the rule for the controversial Merrick family.