Democratic candidate, and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe received almost $500,000 in September from the Michael Bloomberg group Everytown For Gun Safety, adding to his reported $45 million war chest in the bellwether Virginia governor’s race.
McAuliffe, who served one term as governor from 2014-2018, was barred by Virginia law from seeking a second consecutive term and is seeking a second term this year against the former President Donald Trump-backed Republican Glenn Youngkin in what is considered an important race for Democrats going into the 2022 midterms.
According to the non-profit Virginia Public Access Project website, the former governor took in $400,000 cash from the group on Sept. 23, as well as $53,700, and $1,179 in kind contributions on Sept. 30.
Everytown For Gun Safety was founded in 2014, but its beginnings go back to 2006, when former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 14 other city mayors started Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
In 2013, the mayors’ organization merged with Moms Demand action, a group that started following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.
That combined organization launched the Everytown group in 2014, which “works with local, federal, and state governments to implement policies that reduce gun violence,” according to the organization.
McAuliffe is campaigning to ban the sale of “military-style assault firearms and high-capacity magazines,” improve Virginia’s background check laws, ban “open carry” in certain public spaces, prevent domestic abusers from having access to firearms, and ban “ghost guns,” according to the campaign.
“Too many Virginians and families suffer on a daily basis because of rampant gun violence in our communities,” his campaign’s statement on the issue reads. “That includes self-harm, interpersonal violence, and unintentional shootings that result in over 1,000 deaths annually and thousands of injuries.”
The group, and McAuliffe’s campaign, Terry for Virginia, also released a television ad supporting his campaign and gun control agenda on Oct. 12 featuring Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan promoting his stance on gun control and safety.
“As governor, my priority always was and always will be keeping Virginians safe. That’s why I supported law enforcement, increasing pay and funding for training in each of my budgets, and made Virginia the safest large state in the nation,” McAuliffe said in a press release announcing the new ad. “I’ve laid out a clear plan to keep Virginians safe and keep guns out of dangerous hands, but if (Republican candidate) Glenn Youngkin has his way his plans would slash funding for public safety and make Virginians less safe.”