State Senator Greg Evers announced a winner in his controversial AR-15 giveaway contest that had anti-gun activists seething for the past two weeks. Evers is running in a contentious primary against State Rep. Matt Gaetz and six other candidates for the Republican nomination in Florida’s 1st Congressional District.
The winner, Carrie Martin, of Crestview, Florida, will claim the prize next week at the Pensacola Indoor Shooting Range.
“Here in the Panhandle, everyone knows we can’t rely on the federal government for anything. That’s what this contest was all about,” Evers said. “I’m thrilled the rifle is going to someone who understands the importance of the right to bear arms.”
Before ownership of the rifle can be transferred, the winner must complete federally required paperwork and a background check.
“I’m looking forward to meeting Carrie next week,” Evers said. “We have to coordinate the paperwork and our schedules, but even a mountain of federal government paperwork won’t stop us from making this happen.”
The contest drew international attention in the wake of the terrorist attack in Orlando that left 49 dead and many others wounded, but also drew wide support for Evers, with nearly 6,000 eligible entries from supporters, as well as a slew of online traffic from Facebook and a much higher name ID in the district. The original contest announcement reached more than 50,000 people before being taken down by Facebook, and a subsequent post later that same morning has since been seen by another 139,000 people.
Evers is seeking the Republican nomination for Congress in the August 30th primary. For the past 14 straight years, he has earned an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association as a member of the Florida Legislature. In addition to Matt Gaetz, he is running against James Zumwalt, Chris Dosev, Brian Frazier, Rebekah Bydlak, Gary Fairchild, and Mark Wychern.
Disclosure: Greg Evers for Congress is a client of Right Hook Consulting, LLC, which is owned by The Capitolist’s publisher, Brian Burgess.