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Giffords Endorses 4 House Candidates Committed to Action on Gun Safety 

The candidates will fight for change for their communities in Congress

    Washington, DC—Giffords PAC, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, endorsed four candidates for the US House of Representatives. The slate includes Nikema Williams, running to fill former Congressman John Lewis’s seat, along with other gun safety champions seeking to replace retiring Democrats and join the effort to sign solutions to America’s gun violence epidemic into law. The House during this Congress made tremendous progress on the issue, including the passage of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Backgrounds Check Act of 2019, and these leaders will help strengthen the gun safety majority and continue the fight. 

    Statement from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords:

    “We need bold, diverse leadership in Congress to take action on ending gun violence in America. I’m proud to endorse Kai Kahele, Frank Mrvan, Ritchie Torres, and Nikema Williams in their bids for Congress. While from different parts of the country, they share a commitment to civil service and are not afraid to stand up to the gun lobby to make their communities safer. We must elect them as part of a strong gun safety majority in Congress this November.” 

    Kai Kahele (HI-02)

    Kai Kahele is running to represent Hawaii’s Second Congressional District. Kai’s career in public service was inspired by his father, a fellow veteran and lifelong civil servant. After 18 years in the United States Air Force, Kai became a commercial airline pilot and then the executive director of a nonprofit that serves Native Hawaiian families. In 2016, Kai was appointed to succeed his father as the state senator representing Hawaii’s First District, where he has served ever since. In April of this year, in the middle of running a competitive Congressional primary race, Kai volunteered for a month of active duty in the Hawaiian National Guard to help with his state’s COVID-19 response. As a veteran, Kai understands the responsibility that comes with gun ownership and supports commonsense gun safety measures including universal background checks, banning weapons of war, and closing loopholes that allow convicted stalkers and domestic abusers to access firearms. In Congress, Kai is ready to continue serving and protecting everyday Hawaiians by advocating for lifesaving gun violence prevention measures. 

    Frank Mrvan (IN-01)

    Frank Mrvan is the Democratic nominee for Indiana’s First Congressional District. Born and raised in Indiana, Frank earned his bachelor’s degree from Ball State University before working as a licensed mortgage broker and pharmaceutical sales representative. Frank was appointed as a township trustee for North Township in 2005 and has served his community ever since. As North Township Trustee, Frank learned about the devastation of gun violence by talking to survivors in his community. These stories stayed with Frank and motivated his fight for gun safety legislation. When elected to the US House, Frank will advocate for legislation to require universal background checks, implement extreme risk laws, and reinstate the assault weapons ban. Frank Mrvan has always been there for his community and will continue to show up for Indiana’s First Congressional District by enacting commonsense gun safety measures.

    Ritchie Torres (NY-15)

    Ritchie Torres is running for New York’s 15th Congressional District. Born and raised in the Bronx, Ritchie began his career in public service in high school as an intern in the Office of the New York City Mayor. Ritchie went on to serve as the housing director for a member of the New York City Council before being elected to the council himself in 2013, becoming its youngest member ever. Ritchie was exposed to gun violence as a child growing up in East Bronx public housing. His work on the New York City Council has reflected his experiences, as he has fought for millions of dollars in funding to combat gun violence. Additionally, Ritchie championed a bill to create a gun offender registry. After bringing commonsense reforms to his city, he is ready to advocate for gun safety bills that protect communities like his across the country. 

    Nikema Williams (GA-05)

    Nikema Williams is running to represent Georgia’s Fifth District in Congress, the seat most recently held by the late civil rights leader and gun safety advocate John Lewis. Nikema has dedicated her life to advocacy. She formerly served as the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast and Deputy Political Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Nikema was chosen as chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia prior to being elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2017, where she currently represents Georgia’s 39th Legislative District. Throughout her distinguished career, Nikema has proven herself to be a fearless advocate for her community. When she makes it to Congress next January, Nikema will fight for commonsense gun safety measures including universal background checks, firearm licensing requirements, and federally funded violence intervention programs. Time and time again, Nikema Williams has stood up for what she believes in. This year, she is ready to carry on the legacy of Congressman Lewis and fight the gun lobby to keep Georgians safe. 


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