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Gun control group plans to spend $8 million in Texas in 2020

Gun control group plans to spend $8 million in Texas in 2020
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Everytown for Gun Safety announced on Wednesday its plan to spend at least $8 million in Texas to elect gun control advocates. 

The Texas piece of its overall 2020 electoral program, “Gun Sense Majority: Texas,” will focus on state and congressional races, Everytown said on a call with reporters. 

The group announced its plan to spend at least $60 million in the 2020 election nationally in January. Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a co-founder of Everytown and is the organization’s largest donor. 

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The group will start by engaging with candidates to fill out a candidate questionnaire to determine if they are “gun sense candidates,” then invest in television, mail, digital and grassroots efforts. Also, the group plans to register new voters. 

“In 2020, we’re turning our eyes to the great state of Texas. … I have seen firsthand over the last decade or so this shift in how Texans view gun violence,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, said on the call. 

Everytown said it is engaging to reelect Texas Democratic Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred and to elect “gun sense candidates” to the seats of retiring Texas Republican Reps. Pete OlsonPeter (Pete) Graham OlsonHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Republican Fort Bend County Sheriff wins Texas House seat 10 bellwether House races to watch on election night MORE, Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdHouse poised to override Trump veto for first time Lawmakers call for including creation of Latino, women's history museums in year-end spending deal House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE and Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantRepublican Van Duyne wins race for Texas House seat Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE. They also will support challengers to Texas Republican Reps. Dan CrenshawDaniel CrenshawCapitol Police tribute turns political Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE, Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulKremlin: US statements about pro-Navalny protests show 'direct support for the violation of the law' Thousands detained at pro-Navalny rallies in Moscow Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency MORE, Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyWyoming county votes to censure Liz Cheney for Trump impeachment vote GOP divided over Liz Cheney's future Trust between lawmakers reaches all-time low after Capitol riots MORE and John CarterJohn Rice CarterREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit GOP's Carter fends off challenge in Texas MORE

In the State House, Everytown plans on engaging in 20 districts and said it needs to flip nine seats to have a “gun sense majority.”

“We’re investing in Texas because this state has one of the highest rates of gun violence deaths in the country,” Watts said. She added that the state is becoming younger and more diverse and gun safety has become a top issue for voters.

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The Texas initiative will be among Everytown’s largest state investments. It spent more than $2.5 million on the Virginia General Assembly elections in 2019.

For its overall 2020 plan, Everytown said it is also focused on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Bloomberg has put gun control at the forefront of his campaign, but Everytown has said it will treat him like any other candidate in terms of endorsements.