Gun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements

Gun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements
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Everytown for Gun Safety on Tuesday rolled out its first round of Senate endorsements ahead of November's crucial general election.

The gun-control advocacy group threw its support behind 11 Democratic Senate candidates including Mark Kelly in Arizona, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Republicans uncomfortably playing defense Obama announces first wave of 2020 endorsements MORE, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Sara Gideon in Maine, Rep. Ben Ray Luján in New Mexico, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Jaime Harrison in South Carolina and MJ Hegar in Texas.

The endorsement of Gideon is particularly notable given the group endorsed incumbent Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsCoronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority From a Republican donor to Senate GOP: Remove marriage penalty or risk alienating voters The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus MORE (D-Maine) in 2014. 

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The group also backed incumbent Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate Durbin blasts Trump's 'country-club fix' on unemployment MORE (Ill.), Gary PetersGary Charles PetersTop Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic MORE (Mich.) and Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Cook Political Report shifts several Senate races toward Democrats On The Money: GOP mulls short-term unemployment extension | White House, Senate GOP strike deal on B for coronavirus testing MORE (Minn.). 

Democrats are hoping to pick up three or four seats in order to seize control of the upper chamber.

The nonpartisan political website, the Cook Political Report, has rated the races in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina, all currently seats held by Republicans, as toss-ups. 

Everytown jumped into the 2020 electoral fray earlier this year, announcing its plan to spend a minimum of $60 million nationwide in the 2020 elections.

The group has targeted a number of key races in the House and Senate, emphasizing the need to protect what it calls a "gun sense majority," which is mostly comprised of Democratic candidates. 

Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal MORE is the single biggest obstacle to gun safety reform in Washington, so Everytown is going all-in to flip the Senate and elect leaders who will treat America’s gun violence epidemic like the crisis it is," Everytown President John Feinblatt said in a statement on Tuesday.