Despite vow to ‘take on’ gun lobby, Gary Farmer earns an A+ rating from NRA. How?

Gary Farmer

Many tidbits come across my desk, but this one jumped off my screen: Gary Farmer was just “awarded” an A+ rating by … wait for it … the National Rifle Association.

If that doesn’t shock you, allow me to explain.

During a very heated Democratic primary battle versus Jim Waldman in Senate District 34, the NRA’s scorecards became a yuuuge issue in the race.

First, Farmer accused Waldman of earning an “A” rating. Waldman then fired back, calling it a lie (it wasn’t, however — for several years, the NRA website listed Waldman with an “A,” but during the campaign, it changed, with the organization claiming its original rating was in error.)

The NRA corrected the mistake online, producing documents proving Waldman never earned that A.

Farmer replied by hitting Waldman (hard) on his voting record, which seems to support the powerful gun lobby.

After much back-and-forth over a series of mail pieces (some counts putting the total at a dozen), Farmer walloped Waldman with this TV spot.

Clearly, Farmer owned the issue, making it clear — “crystal, sir” — that when in Tallahassee, he would take on the gun lobby.

Farmer was no friend of the NRA, for sure.

So how on earth did Farmer earn the NRA’s highest rating (or lowest, depending on your point of view)?

We are just not sure.

Consider this:

— Farmer never completed the NRA candidate questionnaire. “There was no reason to,” Farmer told, “as I did not want their endorsement.”

— Farmer made it abundantly clear he will not be a “pro-gun senator” and vowed to make gun safety legislation a priority — not something the NRA likes hearing.

— Farmer says he has NEVER EVEN HANDLED a gun! (Really? That might be a question for another time.)

Is this a Marion Hammer trick? Another mistake? One that will be corrected by sundown?

Is Waldman rolling over in his political grave?


Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn