Gun control group plans to spend $8 million in Texas in 2020
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.
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 Olson, Will Hurd and Kenny Marchant. They also will support challengers to Texas Republican Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, Chip Roy and John Carter.
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.
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.