The National Rifle Association is expected to endorse Rep. Mike Simpson on Monday, as he fights to keep the House seat he has held since 1998.
The Idaho Republican is locked in a fierce campaign against Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith, a Republican, who is trying to paint Simpson as a big-spending Washington insider.
The NRA endorsement, reported first by Politico,
is the latest battle between the tea party and traditional Republican lobbying groups.
Simpson touts the regular top rating he gets from the NRA, and his endorsement is expected to be made by NRA President David Keene on behalf of the group’s Political Victory Fund.
Simpson has also been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Smith has been endorsed by conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, the Madison Project, and Freedom Works.
Simpson collected $1.29 million in campaign fundraising in 2013, while Smith raised less than half that amount, with $539,000. With the May 20 primary two months away, the campaign entered the mudslinging phase when Smith accused Simpson of making false allegations against him in a recent TV spot.
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