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Everytown For Gun Safety Victory Fund Launches Nearly $200,000 Pilot Program in Erie County, PA to Engage in Sheriffs Races


Program Includes Digital Ads and Direct Mail Highlighting Stakes of Sheriff Election

ERIE, Pa. — Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund announced today the launch of a new independent expenditure program to engage in sheriff elections nationwide, starting with a nearly $200,000 investment in the 2021 Erie County, Pennsylvania Sheriff election. This year’s efforts lay a marker for expanded independent expenditures next year in down-ballot races, including sheriff elections, when the vast majority of these elections are on the ballot.

The stakes on gun safety in the race for Erie County Sheriff couldn’t be clearer. The Democratic candidate for Sheriff, Chris Campanelli, is a gun-sense candidate running against Republican Brian Shank, a dangerous, gun-lobby extremist. Shank was investigated for and admitted to sexually assaulting women he was hired to protect, and he broke the law by illegally carrying a gun and putting Erie County families at risk. Everytown will be running digital advertisements, and sending direct mail to make sure Erie County residents know exactly how dangerous Brian Shank would be as Sheriff. 



“Everytown is going to make sure voters know which candidates for sheriff are on the side of gun safety — and which are hell-bent on taking the law into their own hands to suit their own ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” said John Feinblatt, head of Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund. “In the Erie County sheriff’s race, the stakes couldn’t be clearer: gun sense champion Chris Campanelli, or Brian Shank, who has been cited for illegally carrying a gun in public.”

Everytown is committed to leaving no stone unturned in the fight to end gun violence and is focused on defeating the gun lobby’s hand-picked candidates for Sheriff that would violate their oaths by ignoring the rules on the books and refusing to enforce gun safety laws. Law enforcement officers nationwide have criticized the gun lobby’s efforts to enact unconstitutional nullification laws, because they make their jobs harder and put their lives at risk. As more and more gun sense candidates win elections and take action by strengthening gun safety laws, the gun lobby has doubled down on this push, Pennsylvania included, to nullify federal and state gun safety laws, especially by electing sheriffs who refuse to enforce the law and put their own officers’ lives at risk. 

A sample of the direct mail is available here: “UNFIT TO SERVE