(for immediate release – April 30, 2014)

MSSA issues legislative endorsements for Primary Election
and Grades for Congressional Candidates

MISSOULA – The Montana Shooting Sports Association today announced its endorsement of 23 legislative candidates for the June, 2014, Primary Election.  Endorsements have been made only in races with contested primaries, and only in those races where a candidate clearly superior for gun owners and hunters can be identified.

MSSA has recommended candidates in contested races where information on issues significant to gun owners issues is available.  This usually includes voting records for incumbents, and returned candidate surveys for candidates for open seats or candidates challenging incumbents.

MSSA is the primary political advocate for gun owners and hunters in Montana, having gotten 64 pro-gun and pro-hunting measures through the Montana Legislature in the past 30 years.

Legislative Candidates

The candidates endorsed for the June, 2014 Primary Election include:

Montana Senate
Mark Blasdel – Senate District 04
Kris Hansen – Senate District 14
Tonya Shellnutt – Senate District 24
Cary Smith – Senate District 27
Joanne Blyton – Senate District 29
Jedediah Hinkle – Senate District 32
Marissa Stockton – Senate District 42
Scott Boulanger – Senate District 43

Montana House
Ronalee Skees – House District 07
Mike Hebert – House District 11
Ann Morren – House district 18
Ryan Osmundson – House District 30
Sarah Laszloffy – House District 53
Jeff Essmann – House District 54
Seth Berglee – House District 58
Debra Lamm – House District 60
Mike More – House District 65
Matthew Monforton – House District 69
Bob Wagner – House District 71
Mike Miller – House District 80
Theresa Manzella – House District 85
Edward Greef – House District 88
Dan Salomon – House District 93


Congressional Candidates

Note:  The grades below are derived from everything MSSA knows about the candidates.  MSSA FAR prefers to have a candidate’s voting record, than a response to MSSA’s Candidate Questionnaire.  It’s too easy for a candidate to espouse one position on a Candidate Questionnaire and then vote differently.  MSSA believes voting records are the most reliable measure of a candidate’s affinity for issues of interest to MSSA, its members, and Montana gun owners.  Some candidates have no voting record and also declined to return MSSA’s Candidate Questionnaire.  MSSA scores these candidates with a “?” and views them as hiding anti-gun sentiments.

Only candidates with in a contested Primary Election are graded for the Primary.

U.S. Senate
Democrat Primary
Name                      Grade    Basis
Dirk Adams               D        Candidate questionnaire
John Bohlinger  C-       Voting record
John Walsh               ?        No information

Republican Primary
Susan Cundiff   ?        No information
Steve Daines             A-       Candidate questionnaire
Champ Edmunds   A        Voting record – 100% + CQ

U.S. House of Representatives
Name                      Grade    Basis
Democrat Primary
John Driscoll            ?        No information
John Lewis               ?        No information

Republican Primary
Elsie Arntzen            A+       Voting record – 100% + CQ
Matt Rosendale  A        Voting record – 100% + CQ
Corey Stapelton A        Voting record – 100% + CQ
Drew Turiano             B        Candidate questionnaire
Ryan Zinke               B        Voting record – 85%

All endorsed candidates were sent a copy of the endorsement letter attached below.

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Information: contact MSSA president Gary Marbut at 549-1252 or at

(Legislative candidates’ endorsement letter, printed on MSSA letterhead)

April 18, 2014

City, State Zip

Dear Name,

I am pleased to inform you that you are endorsed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) in your bid to be nominated as the legislative candidate for (District) in the June, 2014 Primary Election.

MSSA is the primary organization asserting the right to keep and bear arms and the rights and prerogatives of hunters in Montana.  You will be aware that we routinely obtain passage of pro-gun and pro-hunting legislation by the Legislature.

You have been endorsed by MSSA because you are clearly the best candidate in your Primary Election contest to represent gun owners and hunters.  We highly recommend you to the voters of your election district in the Primary Election.  We think the right to keep and bear arms and hunting are important.  Those voters in Montana who agree with us about this important right should know that you will certainly be the best of the Primary Election candidates in your party to represent our shared convictions.

We believe it is important to elect people to public office in Montana who believe in the rights reserved to the people by our constitutions, state and federal, and especially our right to keep and bear arms, and who believe in our cherished heritage and culture of hunting game animals.

We will review this race separately for potential endorsements for the November General Election.

We wish you the best for your Primary Election challenge.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Marbut

Gary Marbut, President
Montana Shooting Sports Association
Author, Gun Laws of Montana

By mssa