Dem Jabbing Primary Opponent on Gun Control Was Chief of Staff for NRA-Backed Congressman

Virginia candidate worked on Democrat campaign endorsed by NRA in 2010

Lindsey Davis Stover / @LindseyForUS
April 24, 2018

Democrat Lindsey Davis Stover continued to take aim at primary opponent Jennifer Wexton for her "reckless" vote for 2016 gun legislation in the Virginia state senate, but her own work for the campaign of a National Rifle Association-endorsed pro-gun Democrat went unmentioned.

Gun control has been a point of contention between candidates in the Democratic primary for Virginia's 10th district. At a weekend candidate forum Wexton was criticized for voting for legislation that expanded concealed-carry rights, with Davis Stover saying the vote was "reckless and shows bad judgment," according to the Washington Post.

Davis Stover has been endorsed as the "gun sense candidate" in the primary by Moms Demand Action, a badge of honor she currently has pinned to the top of her Twitter account. She recently told Politico that she viewed the NRA's support for Rep. Barbara Comstock—the Republican she hopes to be on the ballot against in November—as a vulnerability.

Davis Stover, however, hasn't always viewed the NRA as toxic.

Davis Stover was previously chief of staff for former representative Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat who separated himself from his party when it came to gun rights. She took time away from his official office in 2010 to work on his reelection campaign, which was endorsed by the NRA.

"I cannot imagine any candidate in our district who would not want the endorsement of the NRA Victory Fund, which is by far the largest gun rights organization in the country," the campaign said.

The campaign highlighted Edwards as a pro-gun Democrat in campaign ads, saying that Edwards fought the "Washington liberals" who "wanted to take away our guns."

When the statement was challenged by Politifact, the Edwards campaign sent over a laundry list of ways he had defended the Second Amendment, including a letter he sent to then-attorney general Eric Holder urging him not to attempt to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. The campaign also bragged of his "A rating" from the NRA.

Davis Stover's campaign said it had "no comment" on the Edwards campaign and its NRA endorsement.

Davis Stover has remained close with Edwards, who ultimately lost the 2010 election to Rep. Bill Flores (R., Texas).

After a stint working in the Obama administration's Department of Veterans Affairs, Stover and Edwards launched a consulting firm, Edwards, Davis Stover & Associates LLC, where both remain partners.

Davis Stover now supports an assault-weapons ban.