Endorsed by the Northwest Connecticut Sportsmen’s Council Feb. 29, GOP congressional hopeful Justin Bernier is running for an open seat, Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. Bernier deployed to Afghanistan as a Navy intelligence officer.
A major hunting and fishing organization in northwest Connecticut Feb. 29 endorsed the candidacy of a Republican Justin Bernier, a former Navy intelligence officer, for the state’s 5th Congressional District.
“We feel that Justin Bernier represents the same values and conservative principles that we, as sportsmen of Connecticut hold dear,” said Jason Marshall, the president of the Northwest Connecticut Sportsmen’s Council.
Bernier, who lost the GOP primary in 2010, is running for a seat left vacant when incumbent Rep. Christopher S. Murphy decided to run for the vacancy created with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I.-Conn.) announced his retirement in January.
“Justin is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen,” he said.
“These are not campaign bullet points, but are important values that he has grown up with,” said Marshall, who was one of the founders of the council in 1991.
Bernier, who deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, said he was thrilled to receive the council’s endorsement because they are the regular people he is working to represent.
“I believe the Second Amendment is clear that law-abiding citizens have the right to purchase, own and legally use firearms,” he said.
“In Congress, I will defend the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans,” he said.
“I’m running for Congress for the same reason I joined the military at 9/11, because America is in danger and we need to do something about it,” he said.
Chris Marino, the council’s secretary, said although the group does not always make endorsements, except when the candidate is right, they try to say involved in politics.
“We kind of have to in a state like Connecticut, where sportsmen are always under the microscope,” he said.
“Hands on volunteerism creates the distinction of a sportsmen’s conservation organization such as ours, and enhances our credibility with decision makers on issues that affect our sporting heritage,” he said.
NWCSC maintains close ties with other statewide sportsman’s organizations, such as the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen and the Connecticut Sportsman’s Alliance, he said. By joining together our ability to determine the future of our cultural sporting heritage is greatly enhanced.
Marshall said Bernier is the all-around candidate for Congress.
“His pro-business, pro-energy policies are much needed at this time,” he said.
“With Justin Bernier as a U.S. congressman and others like him, we can turn around the major problems the United States now faces,” he said.
“It is for these reasons the we endorse Justin,” he said.
“Serving as an intelligence officer in the Afghan war, he has a unique understanding of foreign affairs and the leadership in how to work with other cultures,” he said.