News Release A National Momentum Shift: Supporters Of Common-Sense Gun Laws Win Races From Coast To Coast Over 95 Percent Of Brady-Backed Candidates Victorious For Immediate Release: 11-08-2006 Contact Communications: (202) 898-0792 Washington, DC - In election races across the country yesterday, candidates who support strengthening America’s gun laws to fight gun violence defeated candidates backed by the gun lobby in U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial and other statewide races and a number of high-profile state legislative races. The results should have a profound impact on the ability to fight illegal gun trafficking and gun violence in the coming years. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence won five out of five races for Governor and four out of four races for the U.S. Senate in which the group endorsed and went head to head with National Rifle Association endorsed candidates. In all, the Brady Campaign appears to have won 95 percent of the races where it endorsed candidates. In the U.S. House, it appears some 109 candidates either endorsed or A rated by the National Rifle Association went down to defeat, along with 18 candidates for U.S. Senate. The shift in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, coupled with a U.S. Senate that will either see a control shift or be exceptionally close, will make it hard for the gun lobby to weaken gun laws and creates opportunities for passage of common sense gun proposals, according to Brady officials. “In this election, the gun issue was in play, gun violence prevention groups won while the gun pushers lost, and there is now a shift in momentum on the issue of common sense gun restrictions,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. At least four of six U.S. Senate candidates that the NRA spent more than $1 million in total trying to re-elect went down to defeat, and the other two are losing. On the other hand, supporters of common sense gun laws in the Senate, like Dianne Feinstein, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Edward Kennedy, Deborah Stabenow and Richard Lugar were reelected handily. In multiple key battles for Congressional seats supporters of tougher gun laws won, including Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, Ohio’s Betty Sutton and Colorado’s Ed Perlmutter. “I'm so grateful to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for supporting me early on,” Perlmutter said. “Not only did they help me win my primary, they've helped bring the issue of gun violence front and center in Colorado's 7th district.” The gun lobby lost key Gubernatorial fights where the candidates waged brutal policy battles publicly over guns in Illinois, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It lost Governors’ mansions in other states as well, including Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Colorado, where victors Deval Patrick, Martin O’Malley, Elliott Spitzer and Bill Ritter proudly accepted the Brady Campaign endorsement. The NRA lost races in which it endorsed candidates many months ago, as well as at least one major race where it made its endorsement literally at the last minute. Governor Bob Ehrlich of Maryland received the NRA’s endorsement some time between midnight Monday, November 6 and 11 AM Tuesday, November 7 - and then lost to Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley anyway. O’Malley strongly supports passing a state assault weapons ban. In New York State, a longtime leader in the fight to pass tougher gun laws returned to public office, as former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo crushed his opponent to be elected Attorney General. Appearing with Cuomo in New York last week to deliver the Brady Campaign’s endorsement, Helmke said “rarely in the history of the gun violence prevention movement has there been a candidate for public office who has so thoroughly earned the movement’s support.” In California, former Governor and former Mayor of Oakland Jerry Brown, who aggressively challenged his NRA-backed opponent on the gun issue, was easily elected Attorney General. Martha Coakley, endorsed personally by Helmke in Boston last week, was elected Attorney General in Massachusetts. In state legislative races, the trend continued. In Maryland, Jim Rosapepe unseated State Senator John Giannetti, who single-handedly blocked the state legislature from passing an assault weapons ban. “I couldn't have won this race without the help of Sarah and Jim Brady and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,” Rosapepe said. Brady backed candidates lead in a number of other races that have not yet been called. In some contests, the message from the voters on whether they favor tougher gun laws was quite unambiguous and specific. In Cook County, Illinois, voters were asked whether they believe the State Legislatures should pass a ban on military-style assault weapons. The referendum passed with approximately 78 percent of the vote. # # # As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, working with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.