Coming just a day after news surfaced of a $700,000 ad buy to move the chamber towards an anti-gun agenda, Everytown doubled down on another contest in the Virgina state senate.
With the chamber under razor-thin 21-19 GOP control, Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is now buying airtime for commercials in two crucial races. The first, in the Republican held 10th District in Richmond reported previously by Guns.com, was joined Friday by a $1.5 million effort to keep the seat of retiring Sen. Charles J. Colgan, D-29, blue, by installing Democratic candidate Jeremy McPike.
For the New York-based gun control group, the fight in Northern Virginia, where the National Rifle Association has its headquarters in Fairfax, is symbolic.
“Even in the NRA’s backyard, political leaders are standing up against gun lobby interests and pledging to put gun safety, and the safety of Virginians, first,” said Everytown President John Feinblatt in a statement. “As the counterweight to the gun lobby, we are proud to help rally voters to support Dan Gecker and Jeremy McPike who will work to pass common-sense laws instead of NRA-backed politicians who will choose the gun lobby over saving lives.”
In the Richmond race, where Republican candidate Glen Sturtevant and Democrat Daniel Gecker are vying for an open seat, the $700,000 influx is being used to air a series of ads attacking Sturtevant’s support from the NRA. Those ads feature gun violence survivor Andy Parker, whose daughter, WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker, was killed in the vicious on-air fatal shooting earlier this year.
“And for those of you that enjoyed the Glen Sturdevant spot, the other shoe drops today for our buddy Hal Parrish,” Parker posted to his social media account Friday in reference to his new ad targeting Republican candidate and Manassas Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II.
The ad taking on Parrish is a carbon copy of the Sturtevant spot edited to show Parrish for six seconds of the 30-second clip and swapping out the names of the candidates.
Gun rights advocates are warning against the increasing interests taken in local and state elections by the groups under the Everytown umbrella. Last year a $600,000 ad buy in Oregon helped change the polarity of the state senate and eased the way for a new expanded background check law on gun transfers.
“Bloomberg and his billions are a serious threat to our gun rights,” Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, told Guns.com on Friday. “Spending this amount of money to buy a Virginia State Senate seat is obscene. I hope the voters rebel against this out of state attempt to steal this election.”