Giffords' group boosts successor in reelection fight
© Greg Nash

Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords’s (D) PAC is boosting the Democrat who took her place in Congress with its first ads of the cycle, attacking Republican Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyPoll: Sinema leads GOP candidates in Arizona Senate race Poll: Dem leads race to fill Flake’s Senate seat GOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems MORE on gun control.

McSally is locked in a tight rematch with Rep. Ron BarberRonald (Ron) Sylvester BarberPrinciples and actions mean more than Jeff Flake’s words Giffords to lawmakers avoiding town halls: 'Have some courage' Ten House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt MORE, one of the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents, who came to Congress in a special election to succeed his former boss after she stepped down due to injuries sustained during a shooting in the district.

The new ads, from Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), highlight McSally’s opposition to legislation expanding background checks. One declares that most people in southern Arizona support background checks, and asserts McSally supports “a loophole that allows criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns without a check” because “the Washington lobbyists who support the loophole” are spending thousands to elect her.

In the other, Carol of Tucson, Ariz., tells how her daughter was killed by a man with a criminal record who was able to purchase a gun at a gun show without a background check.

Carol again suggests McSally’s support from pro-loophole lobbyists has informed her position.

“To McSally, it’s just politics. To me, it’s personal,” she adds.

ARS is also touting polls that suggest gun control is a winning issue in the district, with 86 percent of likely voters expressing support for requiring background checks for all gun sales.

But the survey, conducted mid-July among 504 likely voters in the district, also shows Barber remains vulnerable. He takes 47 percent support to McSally’s 41 percent support in the survey, which has a 4.9 percent margin of error.