The National Rifle Association is backing Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOvernight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies Senators hope for deal soon on mental health bill GOP leader pushes for special counsel to investigate Clinton emails MORE (R-Texas) in his primary over Rep. Steve StockmanSteve StockmanCruz will skip State of the Union Ethics: Lawmakers didn’t ‘knowingly’ break rules with Azerbaijan gifts Lawmakers deny knowledge of secret funding for 2013 trip MORE (R-Texas).
Cornyn has long been a staunch opponent of gun control, and has recently pushed laws to allow concealed carry permits to be valid across state lines. The endorsement comes despite Stockman's enthusiastic gun support — he's gone as far as raffling off a semi-automatic assault rifle for his campaign.
Cornyn appears to have a huge advantage in the race. He has $7 million in the bank and has given Stockman little room to attack him from the right. Stockman has just $32,000 in his warchest and carries five times that amount in campaign debt as of the last filing period.
The NRA endorsement makes it the second conservative group this week to back Cornyn over Stockman; the Texas Alliance for Life endorsed him on Monday. No major conservative groups have stepped up for Stockman at this point, and the Club for Growth, the heaviest hitter on the right, has said it won't get involved in the race.