WASHINGTON – A national gun-control group will begin airing television ads in support of Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall in the early fall, according to a spokesperson with Americans for Responsible Solutions.
Udall was selected because of his April 2013 vote that would have created a universal background check for gun purchases and is in a contested race for re-election, according to the political action committee’s spokesperson.
“Sen. Udall has been a champion on this issue,” the spokesperson said.
Udall was one of 11 federal lawmakers who will be a beneficiary of the ads. All but two are Democrats.
The organization suggested that another possible benefactor is Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the Colorado state House who is locked in a tight race with Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman in the 6th Congressional District.
Americans for Responsible Solutions is a Washington, D.C.-based super PAC that former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and husband Mark Kelly founded to counter the political might of the National Rifle Association. Jared Lee Loughner shot Giffords in the head in January 2011.
Kelly said in a statement that the super PAC believes “that our elected leaders can both support and protect the Second Amendment and be a strong advocate for reduced gun violence.”
In April, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to spend $50 million to help candidates who support stricter gun laws. A spokesman for Everytown for Gun Safety, the umbrella organization for Bloomberg, did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for the NRA dismissed the impact of the announcement or it’s impact on the election.
“Another gun-control group is giving to another gun-control candidate, Mark Udall. Coloradans support the Second Amendment and oppose the Bloomberg-Obama agenda. We look forward to the upcoming election,” said NRA Spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen.
Udall was one of 54 senators who voted for the universal background check legislation in 2013. The bill fell six votes shy of the necessary 60 to clear the Senate.
Udall said at the time he was “disappointed that my colleagues could not come together and support this bipartisan background check legislation to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining guns.”
Udall faces Republican opponent Rep. Cory Gardner in the November election.
The spokesperson for Giffords’ group said its leaders are under no illusion that convincing Coloradans to vote for Udall for his position on background checks will be an easy task.
He acknowledged that gun-rights supporters helped recall state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo and state Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, and forced another state Sen. Evie Hudak of Arvada, to resign last year for voting for gun-control bills.
“Colorado is a great example of a purple state where the issue does not necessarily need to be a political liability. (But) certainly the recall elections showed the intensity of the other side. It’s no secret the gun lobby has been a force,” the spokesman said.
The group has not decided on the amount it will spend on behalf of the Colorado Democrat, but disclosed that the money will be in the form of independent expenditures that are prohibited by federal law from being coordinated with the candidate’s campaign. Eli Stokols of KDVR-TV first reported the donation to Udall’s campaign.