September 18, 2017 News

Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund Endorses Jenny Durkan for Seattle Mayor, Legislative and Local Candidates Throughout Washington State

The Alliance’s 2017 General Election Endorsements Headlined by Candidates with Proven Record of Taking on Gun Violence as Public Health and Safety Challenge

Seattle, WA – The Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund today announced nearly a dozen new endorsements in the 2017 general election, headlined by former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan for mayor of Seattle and Michelle Rylands for State Senate in the 31st Legislative District. The Victory Fund also issued its first endorsements in city and county races across Washington State, supporting candidates who will act to save lives from gun violence in greater King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

“We are proud to endorse Jenny Durkan for Seattle mayor. She is a strong leader and has a proven track record working on gun violence prevention,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “As our regional U.S. attorney, Jenny prosecuted a number of important gun cases, helped execute sting operations on traffickers and increased gun prosecutions by 45 percent. Local governments are at the core of implementing statewide policy and Jenny is a proven advocate for gun violence prevention laws. We have no doubt that, under Jenny’s leadership, Seattle will continue to lead the nation on gun violence prevention.”

At the legislative level, the Victory Fund announced their endorsement of Michelle Rylands for State Senate in the 31st Legislative District. Rylands served as a military police officer in the Army and works as a 911 dispatcher.

“Michelle has taken calls from those in crisis situations where firearms are involved and has seen the deadly consequences,” said Hopkins. “She truly represents the values of her district by advocating for gun responsibility policy that balances rights with responsibility.”

The Victory Fund also endorsed Cassie Franklin for Everett mayor and Victoria Woodards for Tacoma mayor. Both have a strong history of working to reduce gun violence at the city level.

A recognized leader in the field of homelessness and human services, Franklin approaches gun violence as a public health issue. She currently serves as an Everett city council member and as the CEO of Cocoon House, a nonprofit that supports at-risk youth and their families.

As a Tacoma city council member, Woodards helped form the Tacoma Gang Reduction Program in 2011. She has led the city in studying gang violence, at-risk youth and access to firearms. In 2014, under her leadership, Tacoma launched the Gun Safe T Education Campaign to build awareness and create opportunities to bring safety education on the use, storage and surrender of firearms to Tacoma youth and the community.

The Victory Fund also endorsed several candidates in municipal elections across the state who understand the intersectional nature of gun violence and public safety and human services:

  • Chris Beale, Tacoma City Council District 4
  • Robert Thoms, Tacoma City Council Position 2
  • Josh Thompson, Edmonds City Council District 1
  • Sarah Kneller, Mukilteo City Council District 4
  • Karol Brown, Bellevue City Council Position 4
  • Janice Zahn, Bellevue City Council Position 5
  • Jesse Johnson, Federal Way City Council Position 1
  • Ray Miller, Snohomish County Council District 1

The Alliance also endorsed several candidates during the primary and nearly all advanced to the general election, including Manka Dhingra, Patty Kuderer and Rebecca Saldaña for State Senate, Vandana Slatter for State Representative, Dow Constantine for King County Executive, Peter Holmes for Seattle City Attorney and Lorena Gonzalez for Seattle City Council. During the primary election for mayor of Seattle, the Alliance also endorsed former State Representative Jessyn Farrell who did not advance in the race for Seattle City mayor.

“Gun violence prevention candidates prevailed in the primary election,” said Hopkins. “Washington voters once again showed that gun responsibility is a major issue they care about and consistently turn out at the polls to support. It’s critical we support gun responsibility candidates at every level of government in order to pass and implement commonsense gun policy that will help save lives.”

You can see all the Alliance’s 2017 endorsements here.

This is the fourth year that the Alliance has endorsed candidates who support commonsense laws that balance gun rights with responsibility, and the first year the Alliance has issued local endorsements across Washington State. In 2016, Victory Fund endorsements supported the successful election of over 40 candidates, many who ran on gun responsibility issues. In 2016, the Victory Fund endorsed 31 incumbent legislators and Governor Inslee for re-election, as well as eight candidates who won in open seat elections. 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.

2017 Candidate Endorsements