Candidates Ran and Won on Gun Safety Platforms at All Levels of Elected Office
NEW YORK – Today the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, congratulated the Moms Demand Action volunteer leaders and gun violence survivors –16 in total – who won their electoral bids this cycle.
“For nearly six years, Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors have pushed lawmakers to enact common-sense gun laws,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Now, many of those same volunteers are becoming the lawmakers and leaders who will actually make the laws that protect our families. I am so proud of our volunteers and gun violence survivors for stepping up and running for office. A new wave of gun sense champions has emerged, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what they accomplish next.”
In addition to gun violence survivor Lucy McBath, who will represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, the following Moms Demand Action volunteer leaders and survivors of gun violence were endorsed by Everytown and won their races:
Nicole Clowney (AR State House District 86)
- Nicole started the Fayetteville, Arkansas, group of Moms Demand Action after lawmakers in the state decided to pass legislation allowing civilians to carry firearms on Arkansas college campuses. Nicole was a college professor and outraged that students could carry guns in her classroom.
Victoria Steele (AZ State Senate District 9)
- Steele is a former member of the Arizona House of Representatives where she represented District 9 from 2013 until 2016. She soon joined the Arizona chapter of Moms Demand Action as a volunteer. Victoria Steele originally ran in 2013 because of the Gabby Giffords’ shooting. She’s a domestic violence counselor, and is committed to this issue on behalf of women.
Jennifer Longdon (AZ State House District 24)
- Longdon was inspired to run for office as a survivor of a drive-by shooting in 2004 that left her paralyzed from the chest down. As a gun owner and gun violence survivor, Longdon knows that sensible gun policy and strong democracy are not mutually exclusive. She now represents District 24 in the Arizona House of Representatives.
Catherine Stefani (CA, San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 2)
- Catherine is a volunteer leader with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. She defeated three challengers to retain her seat as a representative of District 2 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She was inspired to run for office because she believes more women are needed in office and because public service is her calling.
Tom Sullivan (CO State House District 37)
- Tom’s son, Alex, was shot and killed in the Aurora theater shooting. He soon became a Moms Demand Action volunteer and a passionate gun violence prevention advocate. He ran for office for his son.
Claire Celsi (IA State Senate District 21)
- Claire joined the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action after the shooting at the Sandy Hook School. A mother of four and a grandmother of one, she is also a small business owner and community volunteer.
Heather Edelson (MN State House District 49A)
- Heather is a volunteer leader with Moms Demand Action in Minnesota. For the past several years, Minnesota volunteers have been fighting to pass legislation requiring a background check on every gun sale. Outside of volunteering, Edelson is a mental health therapist.
Linda Cavazos (NV School Board District G)
- Linda has been involved in the gun violence prevention movement for years, volunteering with Nevada Moms Demand Action to organize rallies, support survivors of gun violence and canvass to collect petition signatures to help pass the Question 1 background initiative. She was inspired to run for office because she felt that her diverse background, informed by her time as a teacher and now as a mental health professional, would allow her to help make a difference in the education system.
Jan Schmidt (NH State House, Hillsborough 28)
- Jan is a volunteer with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action. She has worked with the chapter to defeat numerous bad bills, including a punitive preemption measure. This will be Jan’s second term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Sue Newman (NH State House, Hillsborough 29)
- Sue is a volunteer with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action. For the past several years, New Hampshire volunteers have helped defeat a number of number of bad gun bills in their state house, including guns on campus. This will be her second term in the state house.
Linda Harriott-Gathright (NH State House, Hillsborough 36)
- Linda is a New Hampshire Moms Demand Action volunteer for four years, who decided to run for office in her 60s after a 30-year career at Verizon. Harriott-Gathright is passionate about gun violence in part because her brother-in-law was shot and killed in 1980. The mother of five and grandmother of 10 said she believe the state legislature’s new post-election make up will enable her to help pass legislation that would close the background check loophole. She previously held this same seat in the New Hampshire State House from 2012 to 2014.
Liz McConnell (NH State House, Rockingham 11)
- Liz is a volunteer with the New Hampshire chapter of Moms Demand Action, and now represents Rockingham 11 in the New Hampshire State House.
Natasha Marcus (NC State Senate District 41)
- A former attorney and community leader, Natasha was elected to North Carolina’s state senate. She remembers writing postcards about gun violence with Christy Clark, another volunteer elected to the Legislature on Tuesday, cards to the opponents they both just beat. When Marcus was in college, her aunt was shot and injured by a domestic abuser inside her father’s law office. And her grandmother, who lived to be 100, was never able to talk about her toddler brother who was unintentionally shot and killed by another little boy when she was a child.
Christy Clark (NC State House District 98)
- Christy joined Moms Demand Action right after Sandy Hook because her youngest child was a first grader, just like the Sandy Hook children killed. She was the volunteer chapter leader for North Carolina two years.
Rachel Prusak (OR State House District 37)
- Rachel is a family nurse practitioner specializing in palliative care. A survivor gun-related domestic violence as a teen, she’s testified before state lawmakers as a volunteer with Oregon Moms Demand Action to help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. Rachel was inspired to run for office because she was tired of lawmakers not doing more to reduce gun violence.