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Giffords Endorses Slate of Gun Safety Champions in Virginia

Washington, DCGiffords, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of seven strong gun safety champions in Virginia.

Statement from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“Like every state in the country, Virginia continues to suffer from the gun violence epidemic. Despite this devastating reality, the gun lobby continues to use its cash and influence to try and stop the state legislature from passing laws to make our schools, streets, and communities safer.

“The candidates we are endorsing today acknowledge the toll of gun violence in the Commonwealth and they have been working tirelessly to stop it. Their leadership will be critical to taking steps to prevent future tragedies. Giffords is proud to endorse these leaders, who have the courage to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and who will never stop working to save lives.”

The slate of endorsed candidates includes:

  • HD-77: Cliff Hayes- Delegate Cliff Hayes has been a Virginia resident for over 40 years and a representative of Virginia’s 77th District for a year and a half. Prior to serving in the Virginia House of Delegates, Cliff worked as the Chesapeake Commissioner of the Revenue’s office, and served as the Chief Information Officer and Technology Director for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office. Through his time with law enforcement, Cliff is able to understand the work that needs to be done in communities across his district and his state. Cliff has always prioritized safety, leading him to sponsor the child access prevention gun safety bill to ensure loaded unsecured firearms are not allowed around Virginia’s youth. Cliff currently serves on the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee which allows him to put the safety of all Virginians at the forefront of his legislative agenda. Gifford’s is proud to endorse Delegate Cliff Hayes for re-election in Virginia HD-77. 
  • Chris Hurst (HD-12) – As a journalist, Delegate Hurst has long been a fierce advocate for families struggling to access mental healthcare and equality in education for students with special needs. Chris was driven to run for office because of gun violence he witnessed personally in Virginia. As delegate, Chris has continued to fight tirelessly to increase access to and resources for mental healthcare, voted to ensure gun safety laws are put in place, and has advocated for quality and affordable schools with adequately paid teachers. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Chris Hurst for re-election in Virginia HD-12.
  • Clint Jenkins (HD-76) – Delegate Clinton Jenkins has been a resident of his own district for over 30 years. A graduate of local John F. Kennedy High School, Clint cares deeply about the places and people he has called home for over three decades. A veteran of the United States Army, Clint is no stranger to serving his county and community. With his appointment to the firearms subcommittee, Delegate Jenkins is ready to tackle the epidemic of gun violence facing his state. He has spent his entire adult life serving his community through various churches, civic leagues, and other community organizations. Currently, Clinton lives in Suffolk with his wife, Karen, a member of the school board. They are the proud parents of three adult daughters. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Clint Jenkins for re-election in Virginia HD-76.
  • Kathleen Murphy (HD-34) Delegate Kathleen Murphy has represented Virginia’s 34th District, located in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, for the past seven years. Kathleen is the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and also belongs to the Military and Veterans Caucus, serves on the Board of Veterans Services, and chairs the Women Veterans Workgroup. A leader on gun violence prevention, Delegate Murphy founded the House Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, set up the Safe Virginia Initiative, and has introduced numerous bills to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who are prohibited from having them. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Kathleen Murphy for re-election in Virginia HD-34.
  • Rip Sullivan (HD-48) – Delegate Rip Sullivan is a lifelong Northern Virginia resident and representative of the 48th District. A former law professor at George Mason University, Rip is committed to furthering the rights and protections of Virginia residents. Delegate Sullivan works directly with Speaker Filler-Corn as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and together, they have prioritized an agenda focused on gun safety. This past year, Rip introduced the lifesaving extreme risk law to curb gun violence. Rip’s commitment to Virginians across the state will ensure that he sees these bills through into law. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Rip Sullivan for re-election in Virginia HD-48.
  • HD-53: Marcus Simon- Delegate Marcus Simon is a lifelong Virginian and the current representative of Virginia’s 53rd District. An officer in the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Marcus provided legal support to the Emergency Operations Command Center on Ft. McNair in the days following the September 11 attack on the Pentagon. In his seven years representing the 53rd District, Marcus has prioritized a safer Virginia. Sponsoring bills to close the boyfriend and Charleston loopholes, he understands the importance of protecting the communities we call home. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Marcus Simon for re-election in Virginia HD-53.
  • Jeoin Ward (HD-92) – Delegate Jeion Ward has been her community’s representative for nearly 20 years. A teacher, mom, and wife who received the Women in Government Presidential Award, Jeion has spent her life shattering the glass ceiling and working to make Virginia better, safer, and more equitable for the next generation. As a sponsor of the one-handgun-a-month bill, Jeion spearheaded bringing back a critical policy to the Commonwealth. Giffords is proud to endorse Delegate Jeion Ward for re-election in Virginia HD-92.