A gun-control lobbying group funded largely by Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York, just helped Democrats take over the state government in Virginia – right in the National Rifle Association’s back yard.
In Tuesday night’s state elections, the Democrats tipped the state House and Senate in their favor, giving them full control of the state government for the first time since 1994. The election had stronger than usual turnout in the suburbs, according to media reports.
While the results could be a good omen for Democrats’ chances in 2020, it may also be a tipping point in the money battle over gun rights. Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control advocacy group that Bloomberg helps fund, spent $2.5 million this year to influence voters in Virginia, compared to the approximately $300,000 spent this year by the NRA, which has its headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.
“In the past, the NRA has had its way with lawmakers because it was considered powerful and wealthy and that has dynamic changed drastically – even within the last year,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, which is part of Everytown.