More on Maggart Vs. the NRA (and Courtney Rogers)

WPLN takes a look at the House District 45 contest where the National Rifle Association’s attack on Rep. Debra Maggart has made the House Republican Caucus Chairman the poster child (on billboards at least) for incumbent legislators facing challengers in next week’s primaries.
The tension could be seen at this year’s Statesmen’s Dinner – the Tennessee GOP’s annual fundraiser. Everyone at this soiree supposedly plays on the same team, but the NRA has made the family get-together a little uncomfortable this year.
“Take a picture, quick,” Maggart said, upon being caught in a hallway with the NRA’s Cox.
While the two exchanged pleasantries, Cox is making an example of Maggart so other Republicans think twice before stepping out of line with the gun lobby. The NRA had spent $75,000 at the end of June, with more activity since then. The unrelated Tennessee Firearms Association chipped in at least $10,000 to defeat Maggart.
These are unheard of totals for state legislative races, but Cox calls the independent expenditures appropriate.
“It’s our First Amendment right to assemble to petition our government,” Cox said in an interview. “That’s what we’re doing.”
Rep. Maggart calls the NRA’s campaign “bullying” and a stunt to raise more money.
“You know they’ve got to have a reason to collect your dues,” she says. “They’ve got to have a reason for people to send them a check.”
Maggart – herself a member – has been sending the NRA checks for years and contends she’s about as big a gun gal as she could be. She hosts a skeet shoot fundraiser. She has her carry permit. And she’s a regular at the range.
But at Guns and Leather, a store in Hendersonville with an indoor shooting range, what’s in the window may say it all – signs for Maggart’s opponent, political newcomer Courtney Rogers.
Rogers, a retired Air Force officer, says she’s even surprised at some of the NRA’s tactics, like plastering Rep. Maggart’s face on billboards with President Obama.
“I didn’t even know what to say,” she says. “I just looked up at it and said, “[Maggart] is not going to like that.”
Still, Rogers welcomes the NRA in her corner. And the outside spending may be paying off.
Campaigning door to door, Rogers has been getting a warm reception from gun owners like Jim Fitzgerald. He calls Maggart “wishy-washy” on the weapons issue.

Note: The Tennessean also revisits the subject today.
But there are signs the NRA is turning off voters too.
“Debra Maggart is a lifetime NRA member as I am as a lot of all of us are,” says Bill Taylor, a dentist in Hendersonville. “We may drop our membership because of that.”

3 thoughts on “More on Maggart Vs. the NRA (and Courtney Rogers)

  1. Donna DeSopo

    Debra Maggart will never recover from this election. Maggart has proven to the masses what I learned during an encounter with her years ago–Debra is a habitual/pathological liar who cares nothing about the people in District #45. Maggart cares only about her special interests and keeping a tight hold of power and control at all costs. How can anyone ever view Maggart as a strong leader? or uniter when she has proven to be the great divider? Maggart continues to accumulate more enemies daily with her vile, underhanded tactics. In reality, Maggart’s career is essentially over before the first vote gets counted.

  2. Bob

    What about the private property rights of car owners? If I can’t keep my otherwise legally owned firearm in a car when I get to a place that won’t let me take the gun out of the car, where am I supposed to put it? Effectively, that bars me from taking it just about anywhere. Imagine if gas stations adopted this policy, you wouldn’t even be able to take your gun on hunting trips unless they were close to your home and within one tank of gas.

  3. Donna De Sopo

    Great point Bob! After weeks of talking with voters in District #45, Maggart has more enemies than she does friends. This evening, she further proved that she is too weak to stand on her own 2 feet and had Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey hold her hand through a town hall meeting. Ramsey dominated the night and answered questions while Debra sounded nervous, defensive and desperate. I suspect her political friends who are in charge of the election are already counting the votes. With the level of corruption in H-ville, we should all be very concerned about voter fraud.

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