Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has launched a $250,000 digital ad campaign targeting several members of Texas’ congressional delegation, in its first salvo of campaign spending designed to keep Democrats in control of the U.S. House and flip the Texas State Senate as well.
The new ads are focused on five congressional districts in the state, all of them currently held by Republicans.
The gun control group’s ads will run in districts held by Reps. Dan Crenshaw, Michael McCaul, John Carter and Chip Roy, as well as the state’s 24th Congressional District, where Beth Van Duyne is running for Congress.
The Cook Political Report rates the 24th District a “toss-up,” while McCaul’s and Roy’s seats are rated “lean Republican.” Crenshaw’s and Carter’s seats are classified as “likely Republican.”
The 24th Congressional District is currently represented by Kenny Marchant, who announced last August that he wouldn’t seek re-election. The district is fairly conservative, though Democrats have made gains in recent elections. When Marchant first took office in 2004, he was elected with 64-percent of the vote. By 2018, Marchant pulled in just 50.6 percent of the vote, though he still won election in the blue wave midterms.
Beth Van Duyne, the Republican nominee in the district, is the former mayor of Irving, Texas who was appointed to a regional position in the Department of Housing and Urban Development by President Trump in 2017. Two Democrats hoping to oppose her are headed for a runoff election scheduled for July 14th, but Everytown isn’t waiting to see who the nominee is before coming out in opposition to Van Duyne’s candidacy.
The ads, titled “Ignore Our Safety”, start out by proclaiming that the coronavirus isn’t the only threat to the lives of Texans, pointing to the attack at an El Paso WalMart last August and and accusing the Republicans of “siding with the gun lobby over us.” By “us,” Everytown is referring to Texas voters, but it’s actually more accurate to say that Crenshaw and the rest of the Republicans sided with the Constitution over the gun control movement.
The only policy that the ad specifically mentions is universal background checks, which is the policy that polls best for gun control advocates, and claims that “we” can’t afford the risk of re-electing pro-Second Amendment candidates this November.
I doubt any of the candidates themselves will hit back at Everytown, but if they do, I hope they point out that the anti-gun organization is on the record as declaring that gun stores are not essential businesses, and would have shut down gun shops across the Lone Star State at a time when sales have been soaring, and a lot of the foot traffic in stores is coming from first time gun buyers. Do you want to elect a candidate who’s going to do everything they can to prevent you from exercising your Second Amendment rights during a state of emergency, or do you want to vote for the candidate who’s going to ensure that your rights remain intact? Granted, I’m biased, but it’s a pretty easy choice for me.
You can check out the Everytown for Gun Safety ad targeting Rep. Dan Crenshaw below.