Bloomberg-linked group plans $1.8 million campaign to elect Terry McAuliffe, Democrats in Virginia
Everytown for Gun Safety, backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, plans to pump roughly $1 million into its efforts to elect Democrat Terry McAuliffe, with another $500,000 going to support a dozen Democrats running for the House of Delegates.
An additional $300,000 will aid the campaigns of state lawmaker Hala Ayala, who is running for lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring, who is seeking a third term as attorney general.
John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown, said the group likely will drive even more money this fall into contests in Virginia, which he said would serve as a “bellwether” for the 2022 midterm elections and the potency of gun violence as a campaign issue.
“Voters are seeing an epidemic within an epidemic,” he said. “We’ve had to deal with the Covid pandemic, but what we’re also seeing is a rise in violent crime, and that’s making voters even more supportive of gun-safety laws.”
McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, already has sought to make guns an issue in the race. A recent McAuliffe television ad featured law enforcement officials in the state, who linked gun control to public safety.
Everytown officials say the former governor has demonstrated his commitment to the issue.
Youngkin has described filling out interest group surveys as something that “lifetime politicians” do during a campaign and then act differently once elected. He said he’s focused on talking to voters.
Shannon Watts — who runs Everytown’s main grassroots arm, Moms Demand Action — is scheduled to campaign over the weekend in Virginia with McAuliffe, Ayala and other Democrats.
Feinblatt said the group plans TV and digital ads, along with mailers. And volunteers from its grassroots organizations plan to knock on doors “until people don’t want to hear from them again.”