Lt. Gov. candidate calls out opponent, wants shooting competitio - CBS46 News

Lt. Gov. candidate calls out opponent, wants shooting competition to determine race

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

There could be a special challenge in the race for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.

The candidate who issued the challenge, former State Senator Rick Jeffares, readily admits it’s a publicity stunt. But he said guns are important to the constituents.

He is putting his pro-gun stance and skills to the ultimate test: he’s challenging his opponent to a shootout.

Jeffares wants a battle of the guns in the battle for Lieutenant Governor. After the NRA endorsed the front-runner in the race, State Senator David Shafer, Jeffares, who said he’s gotten an “A” rating from the NRA, decided he wanted to test Shafer’s gun skills in a skeet shootout.

When asked if the stunt is about money the NRA donated to different campaigns, Jeffares said no.

“No, I don’t know if they’re going to give money or not,” he said. “I know they gave the endorsement. I’ve gotten maybe two checks from the NRA over the years running in the State Senate, but they weren’t big checks.”

Jeffares’ campaign said he got $500 from the NRA in 2011, but couldn’t give the entire total for all of his campaigns at the time this story was completed.

When we asked Jeffares what he has to say to people asking why he’s pandering to the NRA as opposed to trying to address the constituents’ specific issues, he said he is.

“Everything we’ve polled, the NRA and the Second Amendment is one of the biggest things we poll,” he said. “Illegal immigration is big. Those are the things that seem to touch people’s heart, and that’s what they want to talk about.”

Jeffares is so confident he’d win the duel, he even brought a 12-gauge shotgun for his challenger to use at the Cherokee Rose Gun Club in Griffin, should Shafer need to borrow one.

We’ve been told that nobody has ever seen Shafer out at an event like this shootout, or going to the range, or even talking about it.

But it looks like Shafer isn’t taking the bait.

“We haven’t heard from him yet,” Jeffares said.

When asked why he things Shafer got an endorsement from the NRA, Jeffares said it’s hard to tell.

“That’s hard to call,” he said. ‘I think, sometimes, I don’t really know their lobbyists that well at the Capitol. I know him and my opponent are good friends. So maybe that had something to do with it.”

Shafer’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story. As for what is riding on this challenge, it’s big: whoever loses suspends their campaign.

When asked if he’s willing to put the race on the line, Jeffares replied with one word.

“Absolutely.”

Shafer has previously said he got the NRA endorsement because his name has been on practically every Second Amendment bill in Georgia for the past 16 years.

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