Giffords Endorses 11 New Gun Safety Champions in Federal, State Races

May 8, 2018 – Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced their endorsement of 11 additional gun safety candidates for the 2018 cycle. These champions are committed to fighting for stronger gun laws and have proven they have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby. They join a growing list of champions supported by Giffords in 2018.

“Fighting for a safer future starts with supporting and electing leaders with the courage to tackle our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” said former Representative Gabrielle Giffordsco-founder of Giffords. “The individuals we are endorsing stand ready to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens while keeping guns out of the hands of violent felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people. As elected leaders, they will take on the gun lobby, and they will work to pass safer gun laws that people across America are demanding. I’m especially proud to be endorsing three of our Giffords Coalition members. These candidates have what it takes to lead and we know that once they’re elected, they’ll do everything in their power to build safer communities for our children and families.”

The newly endorsed candidates announced today by Giffords include:

  • Jennifer Longdon (AZ State Legislative District 24): A survivor of gun violence herself, Jennifer Longdon has been an outspoken advocate for stronger gun laws and disability rights for more than a decade. A random drive by shooting left Longdon paralyzed from the waist down, and she lost her insurance while still in the hospital. As a founding member of the Giffords Arizona Coalition, Jen has been a tireless champion for keeping Arizonans safe. Now, Longdon is running to bring that same commitment to the Arizona state legislature.

  • TJ Cox (CA-21): TJ is a small business owner and an engineer. He is devoted to his community and making California a safer place for all. That’s why he supports common-sense gun laws like universal background checks.

  • Lucy McBath (GA-06): When she lost her son Jordan to a senseless act of gun violence, Lucy McBath became a passionate activist, championing stronger gun laws and holding Congress accountable for their inaction.

  • Lauren Underwood (IL-14): Lauren Underwood is a nurse who has promised to support life-saving policies like universal background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of stalkers and domestic abusers. As a future leader of the Democratic Party, she will lead the charge in Congress for safer communities.

  • Brad Ashford (NE-02): During his distinguished career in public service, Brad Ashford has been a champion for stronger gun laws. As a state lawmaker and during his time in Congress, Ashford was relentless in his pursuit of safer communities. His record on the issue speaks for itself, and when Ashford returns to Congress, he’ll continue his fight to keep Nebraskans safe.

  • Chris Pappas (NH-01): As a member of the NH legislature, Chris Pappas opposed giving gun manufacturers legal immunity and fought against attempts to weaken permitting standards. As an Executive Councilor, Chris advocated for funding for law enforcement to keep Granite State communities safe by targeting illegal guns and gang activity. Chris has been a dedicated and effective leader for Granite State families, and is a member of the Giffords New Hampshire Coalition. He’s vowed to bring that enthusiasm to Congress as he works to address gun safety.

  • Andy Kim (NJ-03): Andy Kim has spent his career serving the American people and protecting our national security. He has worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations, always putting the interests of the American people first. As a father of two, Andy will stand up for South Jersey kids and stand up to the gun lobby, unlike Tom MacArthur who has voted in lockstep with the NRA.

  • Aftab Pureval (OH-01): Aftab Pureval is a champion for safer communities with a long track record of public service. As a special assistant federal prosecutor, Aftab worked to prosecute crimes against children. He’s running to oust Steve Chabot, who has an A-rating from the NRA and has consistently put the priorities of the gun lobby ahead of the safety of Ohio children and families in Congress.

  • Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06): A former Air Force Captain, Chrissy Houlahan knows what it means to stand up for the safety of American communities. In Congress, Chrissy will fight to strengthen our nation’s gun laws while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

  • Lupe Valdez (Texas Gubernatorial): As sheriff of Dallas county, Lupe Valdez has witnessed first hand the devastation of gun violence on communities. It’s why she joined the Giffords Law Enforcement Coalition to help address the issue in Texas. She’s committed to closing the loopholes that allow dangerous people to legally obtain firearms.

  • Elaine Luria (VA-02): As a Navy commander, Elaine Luria’s chief mission was to keep our country safe. As a candidate for Virginia’s 2nd district, her mission has not changed. Elaine has made gun violence prevention a top priority, and she’s running to defeat Scott Taylor who has consistently stood by the NRA and their dangerous agenda in Congress.

These candidates join the following 2018 gun safety champions already endorsed by Giffords:

  • Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)

  • Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-08)

  • Greg Stanton (AZ-09)

  • Gil Cisneros (CA-39)

  • Gavin Newsom (California Gubernatorial)

  • Jason Crow (CO-06)

  • Joe Neguse (CO-02)

  • David Shapiro (FL-16)

  • Stacey Abrams (Georgia Gubernatorial)

  • Angie Craig (MN-02)

  • Dean Phillips (MN-03)

  • Kathy Manning (NC-13)

  • Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)

  • Susie Lee (NV-03)

  • Jacky Rosen (Nevada Senate)

  • Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)

  • Joe Crowley (NY-14)

  • Kate Brown (Oregon Gubernatorial)

  • Veronica Escobar (TX-16)

  • Sylvia Garcia (TX-14)

  • Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23)

  • Colin Allred (TX-32)

  • Lisa Brown (WA-05)

  • Randy Bryce (WI-01)

In February, Giffords launched the #VoteCourage campaign aimed at electing gun safety advocates to Congress and defeating politicians who have historically worked against gun reform, or done nothing at all to prevent gun violence. The political program is targeting incumbents in mostly suburban districts and uses a mixture of TV and digital advertising, on-the-ground organizing, and a voter registration push to create momentum for meaningful progress on gun safety.

The mass shooting at Parkland, Florida crystallized the country’s frustration with the lack of action to pass gun safety laws. Currently, the country is averaging nearly 34,000 deaths from guns every year, and recent polling shows that support for stronger gun laws is at an all-time high.

Last week, just one day before President Trump’s took the stage at the annual NRA convention, Giffords released a list of elected leaders the organization is seeking to defeat. The elected leaders on the Giffords’ #VoteThemOut list have, for years, refused to pass any gun violence legislation. As part of the campaign, Giffords also released a series of new digital ads highlighting the close ties between 10 of the #VoteThemOut incumbents and the National Rifle Association.

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