June 13, 2017 News

Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund Announced First Primary Endorsements for 2017 Election

The Alliance Endorsed Four Candidates in Races for Seats in the State Legislature, Including Contested State Senate Race in the 45th Legislative District

 Seattle, WA – The Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund today announced its first four endorsements for the primary election on August 1, 2017. Among them is Manka Dhingra, a King County prosecutor who is running for an open State Senate seat in the 45th Legislative District.

“Manka Dhingra is one of the strongest gun responsibility champions in the state of Washington,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “She has a proven track record and deep understanding of gun violence and the intersection with domestic violence and hate. She also has numerous policy ideas for institutional change to more effectively reduce gun violence at every level. Electing Manka Dhingra to the State Senate is a really important step in building a gun responsibility majority in Olympia.”

Dhingra has served in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office as the deputy and senior deputy prosecuting attorney for 16 years. She also oversees King County’s Mental Health Court, Veteran’s Court and Community Assessment for Referral and Diversion Program. She is a longtime advocate for women and immigrant rights and co-founded Chaya (now API Chaya), which works to end systemic violence through education, prevention and organizing. She also served on the Seattle Police Department Muslim, Arab and Sikh Advisory Council to address hate crimes in our region.

The Victory Fund is also endorsing State Senator Patty Kuderer, an outspoken advocate for the need to reduce gun violence, especially among young people. During her time in the Legislature, Kuderer has sponsored four different gun violence prevention bills, including Suicide Crisis Prevention, Dangerous Access Prevention and Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks. Kuderer has also worked behind the scenes to help build support for gun responsibility bills during the legislative process.

State Senator Rebecca Saldana and State Representative Vandana Slatter, who are also receiving endorsements from the Alliance, are both new gun responsibility legislators who have actively supported and voted for gun bills in the 2017 Legislature.

This is the third year that the Alliance has endorsed candidates who support commonsense laws that balance gun rights with responsibility.

“Change happens at every level. That’s why it’s one of our top priorities to support candidates who see gun violence as a preventable public health and safety issue,” said Hopkins. “We need more of those champions in office to in order to pass meaningful gun violence prevention policies. Dangerous Access Prevention is a great example of a commonsense policy that’s been introduced every year for the past 18, but can’t move forward because we don’t have a gun responsibility majority in Olympia.”

In 2016, Victory Fund endorsements supported the successful election of over 40 candidates, many who ran on gun responsibility issues. The Victory Fund endorsed 31 incumbent legislators and Governor Inslee for re-election and eight candidates, who won in open seat elections in 2016. The fund also endorsed two candidates who successfully beat incumbents: Senator Lisa Wellman in the 41st legislative district and Representative Kristine Reeves, who now serves the 30th legislative district.

About the Alliance for Gun Responsibility

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility works to end the gun violence crisis in our community and to promote a culture of gun ownership that balances rights with responsibilities. Through collaboration with experts, civic leaders, and citizens, we work to find evidenced-based solutions to the crisis of gun violence in our community. We create innovative policy, advocate for changes in laws, and promote community education to reduce gun violence. Learn more at www.gunresponsibility.org and follow us at @WAGunResponsib.