Grover Norquist Has Lost His Spot in the NRA’s Inner Circle

Two years after a failed recall effort, the antitax crusader loses a reelection bid.

Antitax activist Grover Norquist Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

As the National Rifle Association kicks off its annual convention in Dallas, Texas, it will announce the results of its latest election for its board of directors—which will no longer include antitax crusader Grover Norquist. 

Unofficial results published by the shooting news site Ammoland show that Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, lost his most recent reelection bid. It’s true,” says Todd Rathner, a gun and knife rights lobbyist and NRA board member. “What happened was he ran on a huge ballot with a lot of people. It had nothing to do with him.” Norquist, he says, “was running in a big field with some bigger names and higher profiles, and, quite frankly, people who campaigned pretty hard and got out there on the internet and did stuff.” (Norquist did not respond to a request for comment.)

Norquist was first elected to the NRA board in 2000. In 2016, a recall campaign contended that he was in cahoots with Islamists trying to infiltrate the NRA. Rathner led an effort to defend Norquist, and the recall effort failed. Norquist’s recent loss, Rathner says, “had nothing to do with the controversy—I mean, sure, there might be people leftover who remember that, but I don’t think it had any effect.” 

The NRA board has 76 members who serve three-year terms and are elected in batches of 25. (The 76th member is selected at the annual convention.) Only NRA life members and members who have part of the organization for five or more years may vote in board elections. Norquist and 34 other candidates ran in the most recent election. 

Traditionally, the board has low turnover. Norquist was one of 23 incumbents to run, 19 of whom were reelected. The newly elected board members include Lois & Clark actor Dean Cain. Among those who did not grab a seat were Adam Kraut, who released records showing that celebrity board members Ted Nugent, Tom Selleck, and Karl Malone missed all eight of the most recent meetings. 

Rathner tried to make light of Norquist’s loss: “It’s just a volunteer position. It doesn’t mean any extra money or great super powers. And he might run again. I suspect he probably will.”

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