It’s that time of year again. As you start to receive the ballots for the NRA Board of Directors Elections in your mailboxes, we hope you’ll consider casting a vote for some of the candidates we believe contribute something unique to the Board.
***Scott Bach – Newfoundland, New Jersey
When most gun owners have given up on New Jersey, Scott has stayed to fight. He defends gun owners regardless of their interest – .50 caliber bans, bear hunters, collectors who want the freedom to buy more than one gun a month, and many more. Scott is the Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, the state organization leading the fight for gun rights in the Garden State. He’s an attorney who has used his skills and network to defend both the First & Second Amendment. When a public school was caught sending home anti-gun literature, he sued to mandate that pro-gun literature be honored in the same way. When NY/NJ Port Authority police locked up a Utah man for lawfully traveling with firearms, Bach put the resources of ANJRPC to work to sue the officials who unlawfully arrested him in violation of federal protections. Through ANJRPC, Scott also works with competitive shooters and manages a large shooting range. Their member clubs have trained Olympic shooters. He is also a member of state groups in seven other states, actively supporting their efforts with what he has learned from the political and cultural fights to preserve gun rights in New Jersey.
Scott also gets new media and the importance of embracing new technology to advance the issue, and at one time, he launched his own blog on the Star-Ledger’s website to counter the anti-gun Bryan Miller. He has done interviews to discuss his thoughts on how new media can be leveraged to advance the Second Amendment and develop the shooting sports as well as where he saw the push for our rights headed in light of Heller the last time he ran for the board. He notes that the ANJRPC range may have been the first in the country to offer its members free wifi in the clubhouse.
***Joseph DeBergalis – Buffalo, New York
Joe DeBergalis is a career law enforcement professional fighting for gun rights in New York as Vice-President of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. He’s also a competitive shooter in pistol, rifle, and shotgun sports, as well as a certified instructor.
DeBergalis has put his background to good use by serving as the Chair of the Education & Training Committee, Vice-Chair of the Action Pistol Committee of the Board. He’s no slacker politically, either. He’s the Election Volunteer Coordinator for four New York Congressional Districts and the District of Columbia. On the new media front, he’s a moderator at AR15.com and Match Chairman of AR15.com/Rockcastle Shooting Complex Pro AM Three Gun Championship.
It’s worth noting his work in New York, and not just because it’s a challenging state. Other pro-gun leaders in the state have heaped praise on Joe for his efforts there, and that speaks volumes for his usefulness in serving the pro-Second Amendment cause. Here’s his take on what gun owners could do to get more people involved in our community.
***Jeffrey Crane – Annapolis, Maryland
As President of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Jeff Crane knows how to make sure hunting & shooting sports aren’t overlooked by Congress. He currently serves on the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council that advises the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture on agency activities that related to our the hunting and shooting communities. He has recently been serving on the NRA’s Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Committee and the Government Affairs Committee for Safari Club International.
In his role with CSF, Jeff also oversees sportsmen’s caucuses in 38 state capitals. Some are more active than others, but they’ve played an important role over the years not just working on hunting policy, but also worked on general gun issues in their states. The caucuses are a vehicle to help organize friendly lawmakers and get them talking about the issues.
I realize that this is heavily hunting, but that’s because it’s his background. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t “get” the Second Amendment or gun ownership for self-defense or the shooting sports. Considering NRA has to have a well-rounded board to represent all parties interested in our rights, we believe that Jeff would make an absolutely great addition to the Board to represent hunting rights and the shooting sports while making sure that the core issues in the Second Amendment debates are heard by leaders.
***David Coy – Adrian, Michigan
If there was one thing we have heard in the last year from board members, staffers, and people who pay attention to the needs of running NRA as an organization, it was that David Coy, an accounting professor from Michigan, needed to be put back onto the Board of Directors. Unfortunately, he was just under 2,500 votes shy of re-election last year, and he passed on running a campaign for 76th Director to someone else. That’s not because he is unwilling to serve, though.
His biography doesn’t sound nearly as exciting on the shooting front as some because his financial background is most needed on the Audit & Finance Committees. In other words, he contributes to the areas that keeps NRA running, not just the fun stuff at the range. (Though, he has also served on shooting sports committees, too.) The strengths we had highlighted to us over and over by so many people were his knowledge subjects of accounting, financial reporting, and internal control procedures for non-profit organizations. Besides the number crunching, he’s also active in the political battles as an Election Volunteer Coordinator.
***Joel Friedman – Pasadena, California
As the 76th Director, Joel has had to run twice in the last couple of years, and he could use the help to secure a three year term on the board. We sat down with him in Pittsburgh and talked about various issues, namely the struggles of gun owners in California.
He plays well with other organizations, as evidenced by this endorsement thread by several folks involved in Calguns. Based on much of the history you can find on the web, Joel has been involved in the many sides of this issue that need attention & support in a state that is otherwise so frustrating to gun owners. Whether it’s the NRA Foundation & shooting sports & youth programs supported by the Friends of NRA or the legislative battles at the state level, you can find he’s been involved at every level.
As always, there are plenty of good people on the ballot. Just because we did not list someone here does not mean they aren’t worthy of a seat on the board. These are people we have either worked with directly or know enough about their contributions to the organization that they stand out and deserve your vote.
In the next few weeks, we’ll put up videos from the candidates and more.
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