A piece of advice to candidates: If you’re going to campaign as a hunter, make sure you have a hunting license.
Republican Bob Corker, a self-described hunter, has the backing of the National Rifle Association yet the Tennessee Senate candidate won’t be firing a gun anytime soon.
His license expired.
Corker had a license with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency last year but it expired in February, according to the state agency. The GOP candidate is in a competitive race against Democratic Rep. Harold Ford (news, bio, voting record) Jr., for the soon-to-be-vacant seat held by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
The NRA endorsed Corker Tuesday, giving him an "A" rating and describing him as "a longtime hunter and sportsman." The former Chattanooga mayor told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he typically goes bird hunting several times a year.
The dove season is under way in Tennessee, and politicians typically use the start of the season to show off their hunting skills.
Corker campaign manager Ben Mitchell said Friday the candidate has been too busy campaigning to go hunting. "He certainly will be out hunting again in the future and will have the appropriate license when that happens," Mitchell said.
Chris Cox, chief lobbyist and chairman of the NRA political action committee, said the status of Corker’s license doesn’t bother him. "I know Bob Corker. He is a longtime hunter and sportsman," Cox said.
Ford had a hunting and fishing license at one time, but it expired in 2005, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Ford hasn’t gone hunting or fishing since, according to his campaign.
In a letter to Ford, the NRA wrote that he had a "B" rating with the gun-rights group this year. In past years, Ford received lower scores.
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press