A Democratic candidate for governor said a fellow Democrat in the race should not be seeking the nomination due to his positive National Rifle Association (NRA) grading.
The Post and Courier reports Charleston businessman Phil Noble said in a statement that State Rep, James Smith’s, D-Columbia, history with the gun rights organization should keep him out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Smith has received some A’s in the past from the gun lobbying group. He got an A rating from the NRA in 2006 and an A- in 2010 and 2012. However, the most recent election cycle shows Smith earned a “C” rating in 2016. The NRA said the ranking is consistent with a candidate who has a mixed record or positions on gun-related issues.
Noble’s comments come after theValentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland Fl. high school that left 17 dead.
“Phil’s desperate attempt to play politics with this national tragedy is shameful. At a time when we should be at our best, Phil decides to be at his worst,” Smith’s campaign spokesman Mike McCauley told The Post and Courier in a statement Tuesday. Smith’s campaign also noted his role in passing legislation that required state law enforcement report any individuals ruled mentally incompetent to prevent them from buying guns.
Noble also criticized Smith for his NRA rating at the first debate of the Democratic candidates for governor earlier this month.