by Janet Kim
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It was a bitter battle between Republican State Representative Debra Maggart and her challenger, retired Air Force officer Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers.
When all was said and done, Maggart lost the fight to the National Rifle Association-backed candidate.
"I think the NRA support definitely reshaped this race," said Maggart.
Maggart found herself fighting off an attack from the National Rifle Association, a gun rights lobby group that she had been a member of for years. The NRA believed Maggart helped block a bill that would allow people to keep guns in their vehicles at work.
"I don't think frankly you'd see the NRA or TFA weigh in as heavily as we did had the bill gone to the floor," said Tennessee Firearms Association Executive Director John Harris.
Rogers was a relative unknown until the NRA gave more than $100,000 dollars to fund her campaign. Rogers beat the incumbent 58 to 42 percent, but Rogers doesn't believe the NRA support was the single driving force behind her win.
"I think it really helped to off-set, obviously coming in, I didn't have the funding than representative Maggart had," said Rogers in a phone interview with NewsChannel 5. "They helped a little bit for me, but I also had a lot of people on the ground, but our tactic was to go door to door and meet the citizens and that had a lot to do with it I believe."
However, Maggart believes the NRA sent a message that was loud and clear.
"I do think the NRA bought this election," said Maggart. "They spent over $150,000 trying to defeat me and they did"
It's an election Maggart says won't keep her from her political dreams.
"So I'm going to continue to do those things, keep on working on the republican agenda and the conservative agenda and getting the Republicans elected," said Maggart.