Gubernatorial candidate Walt Maddox responds to NRA questionnaire, won’t commit to legislation in exchange for support

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With students exiting classes in Huntsville and across the U.S. Wednesday to express concern about their safety, the gun debate is again front and center.

So, political candidates are on notice that voters are paying attention.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, a Democratic candidate for governor, seems to be counting on that in his response to an NRA candidate questionnaire.

The National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund makes it clear its support or opposition to candidates includes how they respond to an NRA gun legislation questionnaire.

For a Democrat in a red state, it’s an especially complicated dance. The NRA spent $55,000 opposing Doug Jones in the recent U.S. Senate special election.

Since he’s won, Jones has publicly opposed an NRA approved call for arming teachers, saying, “I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard."

Maddox, released a letter he’s written to the NRA, in response to the organization’s questionnaire, saying he won’t commit to any specific legislation in advance, even if it costs him support.

Regarding the questionnaire, Maddox wrote, “this process somehow implies that if I make a commitment on legislation that I would get your support. That strikes me as being the kind of quid pro quo agreement that has landed too many state leaders either in jail or out of office in recent years.”

Maddox added he wouldn’t favor taking away any existing constitutional right from anyone unless the people decide restricting some rights helps ensure the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by all.

The NRA’s endorsement carries weight, it’s not clear who they’ll support for governor in 2018.

The NRA endorsed then-Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey in 2014.