Eagle River union candidate claims NRA backing; is it stolen valor? - Must Read Alaska
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Wednesday, October 20, 2021
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Eagle River union candidate claims NRA backing; is it stolen valor?

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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.

[Read: When a union boss beats up on an Army veteran]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • could it be that she used to work for Don Young and used that influence with the NRA?

  • How does valor enter into an NRA endorsement in any way, shape or form?

  • I really hope the people of ER see through this sham.

  • Something slimey here. Follow the laundered money and you will find a washing machine and a lot of dirt.

  • Being endorsed by the NRA is not a good thing.

  • If you don’t fill out the questionnaire you don’t get endorsed – there is another good candidate in this race – Eugene Harnett has filled out the questionnaire and will represent the people of Eagle River and not special interests.

  • I wonder if Don Young received any funding from Laborers 341? Be interesting to know hy Don Young as much of a political heavy as he is, decided to give Merrick his endorsement.

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