Rep. Perriello touts pending NRA backing

Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello expects to get the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, which could help his uphill reelection battle.

The fact that the freshman Democrat's campaign touted the pending endorsement a week before it's expected to be officially announced shows how much he needs the boost. His campaign recently circulated an internal poll that showed Perriello tied with Republican challenger Robert Hurt.

"Tom hasn't been afraid to stand up to members of his own party when it comes to fighting for the Second Amendment, and the NRA's endorsement will signify to Virginia gun owners that they can continue to count on Tom to represent them," Jessica Barba, Perriello's campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement. 

Hurt, who got backing from the NRA in previous races, said he expected the endorsement to go to Perriello because of the group's "friendly incumbent rule."

"While I accept the NRA's expected endorsement of the incumbent, my record on this issue is clear, and I remain very proud of their previous support and recognition of my work to preserve the rights of gun owners in Virginia and throughout the country," Hurt said in a statement. 

--Updated 6:11 p.m.

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