Michael Bloomberg may have failed in his quest to become the Democratic presidential candidate, but the gun control sugar daddy isn’t done spending on the 2020 election. In addition to dropping millions of dollars into Texas legislative races in attempt to turn the statehouse blue, Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is committing to spending at least $5-million dollars on races in Arizona ahead of Election Day.
The move is part of a $60 million nationwide effort by the political arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization co-founded by the former New York City mayor, and underscores Arizona’s more competitive political climate.
Dubbed “Gun Sense Majority: Arizona,” Everytown’s plan is to create an organization to send mailers, run digital and TV ads, make phone calls and recruit new voters.
Its efforts will encourage support for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and Mark Kelly, the state’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate. But those efforts could grow to include U.S. House races and will also target races in five districts in Arizona’s state House and Senate.
Arizona’s newly evolving political landscape could help settle the race for the White House and control of the U.S. Senate.
“We see Arizona as one of the most important battlegrounds for gun safety in the country,” said Charlie Kelly, a senior political adviser for Everytown.
It’s easy to think of Arizona as a solid red state, but as the Arizona Republic points out, Republicans only have a two-seat majority in the state House and a 4-seat majority in the state Senate. In the U.S. Senate race, Mark Kelly has been leading Sen. Martha McSally in recent polls, and currently has an 8.5 point lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average. In other words, as conservative as Arizona may have been in the past, it’s up for grabs this year.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey isn’t up for re-election until 2022, so if Democrats do take control of the legislature in November, we won’t immediately see gun bans or a repeal of permitless carry enacted, but Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies are pretty good at playing the long game. If they have to wait a couple of years to turn Arizona into East California in terms of its gun control laws, they’re okay with that. It’s critically important that Arizona gun owners get involved now in supporting pro-2A candidates in this year’s election in order to stave off the impending attack on their right to keep and bear arms.