The Slatest

Bloomberg’s Gun-Control Group Launches $5 Million Campaign to Flip 15 GOP House Seats

A man is holding an anti gun violence sign during a March for our Lives Rally at Connecticut.
A man holds up an anti gun violence sign during a March for our Lives Rally in Connecticut in August, 2018.
KENA BETANCUR/Getty Images

Everytown for Gun Safety, a pro-gun-control group, is launching a $5 million ad campaign to win the hearts of voters in 15 tight U.S. House races.

All 15 of its targets are on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list, districts with strong Democratic candidates with potential to defeat the incumbent Republican or keep their seats in a contentious race.

Everytown’s campaign, called Not One More, will run video ads and web page ads using imagery from shooting scenes to speak to “youth, communities of color and women voters,” people who might not have voted in past elections, Tuesday’s press release said.

Everytown was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has also put his full support behind Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

The 15 targets include districts in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington. Some of these districts have experienced mass shootings in the past, which may play a role in convincing voters to consider pro-gun control candidates more seriously.

California’s 48th district, represented by Republican Dana Rohrabacher, was the site of the 2011 Seal Beach salon shooting, the deadliest mass shooting incident in Orange County history, with nine killed.

Colorado’s 6th district, represented by Republican Mike Coffman, is home to the town of Aurora, where 12 people died and 70 were injured in the 2012 movie theater shooting. District 6 also experienced the 2010 Deer Creek middle school shooting, in which two people were injured, and the 2013 Arapahoe High School shooting, in which two people died, including the gunman.

Everytown is also working to elect Democrat Lucy McBath in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, which is included in its target list. McBath is a gun-control activist whose son was shot and killed in Jacksonville, Florida. The nonprofit already invested more than $1.2 million to elect McBath in her primary and primary runoff.

A week ago, Everytown pledged to spend up to $10 million in support of pro-gun-control gubernatorial candidates in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and New Mexico. It’s notable that in that campaign and in its new spending on House races, Everytown is backing Democratic candidates across the board, despite its early messaging promoting bipartisan solutions to gun violence.