Michael Bloomberg’s gun control advocacy group plans to spend more than $1 million on the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race, despite its failure to flip the state senate in 2015 on the back of a similar spending push.
The Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a New York-based gun control advocacy organization, announced Thursday plans to contribute $700,000 to Democratic candidate and current Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam and another $300,000 into Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring’s re-election bid, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Northam has a strong record on gun control, providing the tie breaking vote to block legislation that would have empowered Virginians to carry a concealed firearm absent a permit. Northam also supports an assault weapons ban, universal background checks and the one-gun-a-month rule.
Northam’s opponent Republican Ed Gillespie has been celebrated by the NRA for his support of second amendment rights, blanketing the state with direct mailers touting Gillespie as Virginians’ only defense against the “Obama/Bloomberg gun control agenda.”
Everytown spent $2,368,655 in Virginia on two state senate races in 2015, but failed to flip either seat. Republicans retained their majority in both houses that year, effectively preventing Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s attempts to impose certain gun control measures through executive order in 2016.
Virginia Democratic political operative Paul Goldman attributed the Democrats’ 2015 failure to the influx of out of state ad dollars thrust on Virginians in the days leading up to the 2015 election.
“Definitely Bloomberg backlash,” Goldman told the Richmond Times-Dispatch following the election.
Gillespie and Northam faced off in their second debate Tuesday night but gun rights were not discussed. Polls suggest a tight race, the election will be held on Nov. 7.
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