Press Release

Giffords Endorses State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Gina Ortiz Jones, and Colin Allred for Congress in Texas

These endorsements come as part of Giffords’ #VoteCourage Campaign to elect gun reform candidates nationwide

March 21, 2018 – Giffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly, announced its endorsement of Sylvia Garcia, State Senator for Texas’ 6th district and candidate for Texas’ 29th congressional district; Gina Ortiz Jones, candidate for Texas’ 23rd congressional district; and Colin Allred, candidate for Texas’ 32nd congressional district. Sylvia Garcia, Gina Ortiz Jones, and Colin Allred are three of 13 candidates Giffords endorsed today as part of its #VoteCourage campaign to elect gun safety champions.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords said,“Even in the face of the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Congress has refused to act on our gun violence crisis.  This year, however, three strong candidates are stepping up to run for Congress and lead in the fight for stronger gun safety laws.

“In the State Senate, Sylvia Garcia has a demonstrated record of supporting gun violence prevention, opposing legislation to allow guns on school grounds. Her strong commitment to raising awareness around the impact of gun violence on communities is much needed in Congress and we are thrilled to support her in this campaign.

“For her entire career, in and out of uniform, Gina Ortiz Jones has worked to keep our country free and secure. And she knows that in order to continue protecting our country, we need to take action now on gun violence.

“As a civil rights lawyer and public servant, Colin has a long record of defending the rights of the most underrepresented Americans. Following the Parkland tragedy, Colin called for a new generation of leaders to make gun reform a reality at last. Giffords is proud to support Colin, who will work to make our country fairer and safer for our kids.”

“Following Parkland, Americans across the country – including Texans – have said, enough is enough. Electing Sylvia, Gina, and Colin to Congress this year means having three more gun safety champions representing Texas and three more leaders with the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and stand with the millions of Americans who simply want safe schools and communities.”

Senator Sylvia Garcia is a long-time champion of gun violence prevention: last year, she opposed a bill that allowed concealed permit holders to keep guns in cars parked outside of schools. Senator Garcia is committed to bringing her fight for gun safety to Washington.

Gina Ortiz Jones is a U.S. Air Force veteran with a background in national security and defense, having served as an intelligence officer in Iraq. She supports commonsense laws aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals that endanger our community.

Colin Allred is a Dallas civil rights lawyer and former NFL player who served under Julian Castro at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Allred has experience serving in both the Obama White House and the U.S. Attorney’s office and has been vocal on gun issues, criticizing Congress for failing to pass fundamental gun safety measures such as universal background checks.

Senator Sylvia Garcia:“Mass shootings have become far too common in America, and taking action to keep our communities safe from gun violence will be one of my top priorities in Congress. I’m honored to be endorsed by Giffords, and look forward to working with them in Washington to fight for common sense gun control.”

Gina Ortiz Jones: “I’m honored to receive the Giffords endorsement. It’ll take leadership and moral courage to address our country’s gun violence epidemic. As a veteran, I know firsthand that our national security begins at home, in our own communities, and I look forward to creating safer gun laws that reflect our American values.

Colin Allred: “We need to take action to protect our communities and our children from gun violence. But Pete Sessions has refused to even consider common-sense solutions like criminal background checks on all gun sales and keeping firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers. I’m honored to have the support of Giffords and in Congress I will work with them to reduce gun violence across the country.”

Last month, 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.

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Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.