GOP candidate who blames loss on flier has guns

MILFORD – If failed Republican candidate Brad Galinson had answered a questionnaire from a state gun rights group, he might have received a favorable rating that would have won him a spot on the November ballot.

Galinson, of Amherst, believes a pair of mailings – one from the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition – might have cost him a win in the primary election Tuesday.

The gun group’s flier lists the replies to its questions for each candidate. It shows a question mark next to Galinson’s name, as it does for all of the candidates on the Democratic primary ballot.

Galinson said he didn’t remember getting the questionnaire; it was either never received or sent or accidentally tossed out.

Galinson said he would probably have gotten a good grade because he is a member of the National Rifle Association and the owner of two guns – a rifle and small handgun. He said he enjoys going shooting with his father-in-law.

The other flier was sent by Milford Republicans, which seemed to imply only Milford candidates for the House would protect gun rights. They based their flier on the one distributed by the NHFC, which has a return address listed as a post office box in Milford. That flier rated Republicans and Democrats throughout the state based upon their voting records on gun issues.

The local GOP flier said, among other things, “Your firearm ownership rights are threatened. Your vote on September 9th is crucial.”

It went on to list Milford Republicans Gary Daniels, Steve Palmer, Mike Sroka and Bob Willette as being “trusted by the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, to fight for your firearms civil rights.”

The local flier did not list Galinson, nor did it list Reps. Cynthia Dokmo, Bill Belvin, Bob Rowe and Peter Bergin, all from Amherst. All won spots on the GOP November ballot, as did the four Milford Republicans.

Galinson called the flier divisive and said it pitted Amherst Republicans against Milford Republicans.

But Daniels said the flier merely states that the four Milford candidates received a favorable rating from the gun rights group.

The Amherst Republicans not mentioned in the local flier did get grades from the NHFC: Rep. Rob Rowe got a mere “B” compared to the A-plus for Willette and Palmer, the A for Sroka and the A-plus with an exclamation point for Daniels.

Rowe’s B, according to the group, means he is “basically pro-Second Amendment, but lacks understanding or solid conviction.”

Dokmo and Belvin got “Ds”, which means they are expected to vote against Second Amendment rights. Bergin got the least favorable grade, an F, meaning he is “hostile” to gun rights.

Willette says he doesn’t own a gun but law-abiding people who want guns should be able to have them without having to register.

NHFC spokesman Alan Rice said his organization does not endorse any particular candidate. It merely gives them letter grades and lets voters decide for themselves.

Goals of the NHFC include the following:

Rollbacks of laws restricting the types of firearms New Hampshire residents may own.

Expanding New Hampshire residents’ right to carry firearms, openly or concealed.

Strengthening protection for shooting clubs and ranges against encroachments/harassment.