NRA Elections 2023: LaPierre Wins – NRA Members Lose

NRA Board Election Ballot Vote
file photo

Tombstone, Arizona – -( This could be our last chance to vote in an NRA Board of Directors election. Unfortunately, there’s not really anyone to vote for or anything they could do to save the organization. While there are a lot of relatively good to simply benign candidates on the ballot, there are none that I would expect to challenge the status quo, and there are several who are strong supporters of Wayne LaPierre, chief among them being current NRA President Charles Cotton.

While I think it would be a victory for NRA members to rid themselves of Mr. Cotton, I see no viable way to accomplish that. Cotton has historically landed up in the top 10 vote-getters in his past several elections, and the extra exposure he gets in the NRA magazines makes it very unlikely that he could be pushed down into the bottom 4. And even if that were possible, he would almost certainly be subsequently elected to the 76th Director seat that is voted on at the Annual Meeting of Members.

NRA Board of Directors election Ballot 2023

NRA Board of Directors election Ballot 2023
NRA Board of Directors election Ballot 2023

Ballots are included in the latest editions of NRA magazines. All Life Members, and Annual Members who have maintained membership for at least the past five consecutive years, are eligible to vote. If you’re an NRA member, but don’t have a ballot in your latest magazine, then NRA’s records indicate that you’re not eligible to vote. If you believe you are eligible, you should call the Secretary’s Office through the NRA HQ switchboard. The number is in the Official Journal section of your magazine.

On the ballot are 30 names, with 22 of them being incumbents. The Nominating Committee didn’t renominate Judge Phil Journey, who has been a contributor to AmmoLand News an outspoken critic of the current “leadership” and their policies, nor did they renominate long-time Director Graham Hill, who has quietly asked uncomfortable questions of LaPierre and company. They also failed to nominate Frank Tait, who was appointed to temporarily fill the seat vacated by the death of Dave Butz last November. Tait was also a vocal critic of the LaPierre regime. He was the last available, non-winning candidate from the previous election, and his appointment lasted only until the end of the Members’ Meeting this year.

Among the new names on the ballot, I am only really familiar with two of them. The DC-Projects’ Amanda Suffecool, who is a pretty sharp cookie but doesn’t strike me as much of a boat-rocker, and Rick Ector, who is a heck of an activist and trainer out of Detroit. I like both of them, but I don’t see either of them having a significant impact on the decisions of the Board. It looks like the other six new candidates are just more of the same rubber-stamp LaPierre sycophants that have become standard for the Association in recent years.

Still, you never know how they will actually perform on the Board until they get there, so I’ll give them some small benefit of the doubt.

The best I can do in the way of recommendations is to suggest voting for any of the new folks: Rick Ector, Amanda Suffecool, Ed Wilkinson, Bruce Widener, Isaac Demarest, Amy Heath Lovato, David A. Raney, and Charles Beers III.

Read their bios in the magazine, and see if you think they will do a good job. I only personally know Rick and Amanda, and I like both of them.

Among the incumbents, there are a few who I think aren’t too bad, though none of them have demonstrated a willingness to stand up against LaPierre and Cotton.

No one managed to get nominated by petition this year, and I’m not aware of anyone attempting to run a write-in campaign, so all of the candidates were nominated by the Nominating Committee. Slim pickings.

At this point, the Association is in dire straights.

Over the past three and a half years, the Association has lost nearly half of its Annual Members and over half of its annual revenue, not to mention most of its political clout and professional respect. At the same time, the Association has made drastic cuts to core programs and even deeper cuts to staff. NRA TV was an early casualty, along with the much-vaunted Carry Guard program. Still, they’ve also made severe cuts to Competitions, Training, Range Development, and other core firearm-related programs.

At the same time, the Association’s legal and related spending has gone ballistic, with one law firm now accounting for over a quarter of the NRA’s overall spending.

And that’s not spending on NRA suits against unconstitutional laws or anything like that. It’s spending on the legal battles to defend the Association and LaPierre against charges of corruption, cronyism, and self-dealing on the part of LaPierre and other executives.

These are not new problems, but they have stacked up in recent years, now placing the Association on the verge of bankruptcy, actual bankruptcy, not the fake one Wayne & Co. tried using to escape NY state. As well as pending severe sanctions from a New York court.

Wayne LaPierre file photo

Yet, in the midst of all of this, the NRA Board of Directors has reelected Wayne LaPierre as Executive Vice President and CEO every year, with almost no opposition!?

I see no hope of reversing this situation. The New York suit is supposed to go to trial by this summer, and there is little doubt that the Association and LaPierre will lose soundly. The only question is what that loss will actually mean to the Association and its members. The legal geniuses at NRA recently demanded a jury trial – in a Manhattan court – with a jury comprised of residents of New York City… What the hell are they thinking?

Looking at the downward trends in NRA membership and their finances, there’s a good chance the Association will again file for bankruptcy protection before the lawsuit gets to trial. It’s hard to guess how that might impact the trial, but it will probably, at least, delay it some more.

Unfortunately for NRA Members, there’s little we can do besides watch the slow-motion train wreck and hope that there will be enough pieces left to pick up. I sincerely wish I could offer a more optimistic view and suggestions for avoiding the crash, but I’m afraid it’s just too far gone.

Read Related: The Late Great National Rifle Association …R.I.P.

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation political activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His father, Neal Knox, led many of the early gun rights battles for your right to keep and bear arms. Read Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs, and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition has offices in Buckeye, Arizona, and Manassas, VA. Visit: