Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC Announces 2014 Federal Electoral Priorities to Support Champions for Common Sense

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, the organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired combat veteran and astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, today announced its 2014 federal electoral priorities that will highlight responsible gun ownership among key voters in nine states, and support elected officials who have been champions of common sense changes to gun laws.

Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) will engage in the following Senate contests where candidates from either party have been champions for common-sense gun violence prevention policies, like background checks on all guns sales:

  • Colorado, in support of Senator Mark Udall;
  • Iowa, in support of Congressman Bruce Braley;
  • Louisiana, in support of Senator Mary Landrieu;
  • Maine, in support of Senator Susan Collins;
  • New Hampshire, in support of Senator Jeanne Shaheen;
  • North Carolina, in support of Senator Kay Hagan; and,
  • Minnesota, in support of Senator Al Franken.

ARS PAC will also engage through electoral programs in the following House contests:

  • PA-08, in support of Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick
  • AZ-02, in support of Congressman Ron Barber;
  • NH-01, in support of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter; and,
  • NH-02, in support of Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster.

In addition, ARS PAC is closely monitoring the following House races:

  • CO-06; and
  • IA-03.

“Gabby and I founded ARS PAC because, like millions of Americans, we believe that our elected leaders can both support and protect the 2nd Amendment and be strong advocates for reducing gun violence,” said Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC. “Americans know that gun violence threatens the safety of our communities, and that our political system desperately needs leaders willing to stand up for the rights and responsibilities of gun ownership and challenge the conventional thinking. We’re looking forward to seeing common-sense approaches to reducing gun violence win in November.”

“For more than two decades, the political wisdom has been that candidates can’t talk about responsible gun ownership and win. But times have changed, and one thing we learned in Virginia and believe is true across the country is that leaders who support responsible gun ownership policies can and should effectively talk about this issue,” said Pia Carusone, ARS PAC Senior Advisor. “We are excited to amplify that language in important contests this fall and help elect champions for common-sense change to gun laws.”

ARS PAC’s electoral priorities in the 2014 midterm elections will build on the success of ARS PAC’s $600,000 program in the Virginia statewide elections in 2013, which demonstrated that highlighting gun violence prevention as an issue by which candidates can be effective and is key to winning among independent voters, even in states with a strong history of gun ownership. Among the key lessons from ARS PAC’s work in Virginia that will inform its programs in 2014:

  • Candidates can run effective campaigns and should adopt gun violence prevention positions and messages to reach and persuade independent women and other key voting demographics;
  • Messaging on responsible gun ownership is a critical turn-out tool for key drop-off voters;
  • Opposition to popular and effective policies like expanded background checks allows ARS and other groups to brand candidates as extreme.