More than 700 Candidates Have Received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction, Including Senators or Senate Candidates in AZ, CO, GA, IA, ME, MN, NC, TX; Women Represent 56% of Candidates in First Round of Gun Sense Candidate Distinctions
Virtual Rally Featured Colorado Senate Candidate, and Former Governor, John Hickenlooper, Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath, Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids — Everytown Continuing to Grow Political Work Even Amid Coronavirus
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund with its grassroots network, Moms Demand Action, hosted a virtual Gun Sense Candidate Rally to release the first round of more than 700 candidates selected for the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction program. Voters are able to view the complete list of candidates on their ballot by visiting GunSenseVoter.org.
Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors from across the country participated in the virtual rally, and were addressed by speakers including:
- Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, candidate for U.S. Senate in Colorado
- Georgia Congresswoman Lucy McBath (D-GA-06)
- Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids (D-KS-03)
- John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety
- Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action
Following a speaking program, the candidates answered questions from rally participants.
“It speaks volumes about the growing strength of the gun safety movement that even in the midst of a pandemic, more than 700 candidates made it a priority to seek out our Gun Sense Candidate distinction — and we’re just getting started,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “These candidates can count on the support of Moms Demand Action volunteers, who aren’t going to let anything, including the coronavirus, stop them from electing gun sense champions up and down the ballot in 2020.”
“In the last few years, candidates have learned that in the uncertainty of politics, there’s one thing that’s certain, and that’s the strength of the gun safety vote,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “In election after election, in state after state, Moms Demand Action volunteers have moved heaven and earth to elect gun sense champions up and down the ballot. As we award these Gun Sense Candidate distinctions, we’re letting candidates know that if you have our backs, we’ll have yours.”
Since the 2020 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction program launched in February, volunteers from Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, have been distributing questionnaires to candidates across the country, from both political parties, and educating them on key policies and what it means to be a Gun Sense Candidate.
More than 700 candidates from 36 states have sought and received the distinction so far, demonstrating their commitment to run on their gun violence prevention credentials. These candidates represent the depth and breadth of the gun violence prevention movement:
- Distinctions were sought and received by candidates running for office up and down the ballot, including State House, State Senate, Attorney General, Governor, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate;
- More than 56% of the first round of Gun Sense Candidates are women;
- U.S. Senators or Senate candidates in key Senate battlegrounds, including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas, received the distinction during this round;
- State Attorneys General in key Attorneys General battlegrounds, including Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Vermont, received the distinction;
- Twenty-one congressional incumbents who won office in 2018, in Red to Blue congressional districts, as identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, received the distinction; and
- Gun Sense Candidate distinctions were awarded in more than 60% of the DCCC’s Red to Blue congressional districts for 2020.
The Gun Sense Candidate distinction is a signal to Everytown and Moms Demand Action’s nearly six million supporters, volunteers, and voters across the country that a candidate stands up for gun violence prevention. The Gun Sense Candidate distinction is not an endorsement from Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, or its volunteer networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Receiving the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction is a prerequisite for being considered for endorsement.
In its inaugural year of 2018, the program recognized more than 3,000 candidates in 48 states who were running for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and State Legislature.
In the 2018 midterms, Moms Demand Action volunteers phone banked and canvassed for Gun Sense Candidates for months, and contacted more than 1.2 million voters.