November 8, 2017 Announcements · News · Press Releases

Washington Gun Responsibility Candidates Win on Election Night 2017

15 Gun Responsibility Candidates Endorsed by the Alliance Elected to Office, Headlined By Manka Dhingra for the Contested State Senate Seat in the 45th Legislative District and Jenny Durkan for Seattle Mayor

Seattle, WA–Tonight, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility celebrated as nearly all gun responsibility candidates at the state, county and municipal level were elected to office.

“This is a huge milestone on the road to gun responsibility majorities in Olympia and all levels of government statewide. In fact, gun responsibility candidates are winning across the country,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “Manka Dhingra is a strong advocate for commonsense gun responsibility laws that focus on keeping dangerous guns from dangerous hands, suicide prevention and community safety. Her election to the State Senate shifts the balance of power in Olympia. The logjam on gun violence prevention, and so many other progressive issues, is loosening!”

This year, the Republican-controlled state Senate failed to hold hearings on numerous commonsense, widely-supported gun responsibility policies, including bills to raise the age limit to purchase assault weapons to 21 and to keep firearms out of the hands of children and prohibited individuals.

The Victory Fund also endorsed Jenny Durkan for Seattle mayor in the general election.

“We are thrilled to have such a strong gun responsibility champion as Seattle’s next mayor! Jenny is a strong leader and has a proven track record working on gun violence prevention. As our regional U.S. attorney, she prosecuted a number of important gun cases and increased gun prosecutions by 45 percent,” said Hopkins. “Local governments are critical to the successful implementation of laws passed in the state Legislature and we know Jenny is committed to this work and will ensure Seattle continues to lead the country on gun violence prevention.”

Legislative Candidate Wins

The Victory Fund also successfully endorsed additional candidates in races for seats in the state legislature. State Senator Patty Kuderer, is an outspoken advocate for gun violence reduction, especially among young people. Senator Kuderer sponsored four different gun violence prevention bills, including Suicide Crisis Prevention, Dangerous Access Prevention and Enhanced Assault Weapon Background Checks.

State Senator Rebecca Saldana and State Representative Vandana Slatter are both new gun responsibility legislators who actively supported and voted for gun responsibility bills in 2017 and will continue championing these efforts.

“The Alliance will announce our legislative agenda for 2018 later this year and we are planning to pick up right where we left after the last session, and then some,” said Hopkins. “After the devastating mass shootings in Las Vegas and just this week in Texas, not holding votes on policies with bipartisan support is no longer acceptable. We have more gun responsibility legislators than ever before who will introduce a number of commonsense gun bills. We’re counting on the rest of the Legislature to listen to the will of the people and do the right thing.”

Success in King County

Gun responsibility champion Dow Constantine was re-elected to serve another term as King County executive. In 2013, Constantine issued an executive order directing the King County government to take a public health approach to gun violence, issuing in a new era of holistic, data-driven policy. Under his leadership, the King County Child Death Review Committee closely examines each child firearm-related death in the county and makes recommendations for prevention. Constantine’s leadership is instrumental in the effective enforcement of firearm laws, including universal background checks and protection orders.

Voters also overwhelmingly passed the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy, which Constantine has championed as King County executive. The Alliance has strongly supported the levy, which will provide vital services to domestic violence survivors and local veterans.

Municipal Victories

At the municipal level, the Victory Fund endorsed Peter Holmes for his third term as Seattle’s city attorney. Under Holmes’ leadership, the City Attorney’s Office has been instrumental in fully implementing gun responsibility policies in Seattle. Holmes has also been a strong proponent of domestic violence firearms surrender enforcement and helped secure funding for that work.

The Victory Fund also endorsed Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González for re-election and Seattle City Councilmember newcomer Teresa Mosqueda. Councilmember González was first elected to the Seattle City Council in 2015 and has a proven track record as a gun violence and domestic violence prevention champion.

Teresa Mosqueda, who will serve in council position 8, has spent her career advocating for working families, immigrants and children. Gun violence prevention has been a tenet of her campaign this year, due to Mosqueda’s public health background.

The Victory Fund endorsed Victoria Woodards for Tacoma mayor. 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 the following candidates who successfully won their local races and have a strong understanding of the intersectional nature of gun violence and public health and safety:

  • Chris Beale, Tacoma City Council District 4
  • Robert Thoms, Tacoma City Council Position 2
  • Sarah Kneller, Mukilteo City Council District 4
  • Janice Zahn, Bellevue City Council Position 5
  • Jesse Johnson, Federal Way City Council Position 1

About the Victory Fund

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

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

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.

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