Anti-Gun Violence Advocate Gabby Giffords Endorses Pat Toomey

Both Toomey and opponent Katie McGinty have released statements following Gifford's endorsement decision, which she said was "difficult."


Gabby Giffords (courtesy of her Facebook page), left, Pat Toomey (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP), right

An anti-gun violence PAC led by U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords announced its endorsement of Republican Senator Pat Toomey yesterday.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, wrote an op-ed published on CNN outlining why their PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, chose to endorse Toomey and fellow Republican Senator Mark Kirk, among other politicians.

“In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Republican Sens. Pat Toomey and Mark Kirk broke from the gun lobby and supported a bill to help prevent felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining firearms at gun shows and online,” the op-ed reads.

Giffords was shot in the head during a 2011 mass shooting at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, where six people were killed and several others were wounded. She underwent emergency surgery and had to learn how to talk and walk again.

Giffords and Kelly wrote that their endorsement decision was difficult, calling Toomey’s opponent, Katie McGinty, “a passionate advocate for gun violence prevention” who “would be a consistent vote for life-saving gun safety laws in the Senate.”

In a statement released yesterday, Toomey said he was “honored” to receive the endorsement. “I have long said that we must work together to forge a bipartisan consensus on gun safety, rather than talk past one another with partisan rhetoric,” Toomey said.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party released a statement of disapproval yesterday.

“Pat Toomey isn’t a moderate on guns, period,” party spokesman Preston Maddock said. “He’s stood in the way of common sense gun safety laws and he would happily keep Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader, meaning that gun safety laws have almost no chance in the Senate.”

In the latest series of Pennsylvania polls, Toomey lags slightly behind opponent McGinty in the senate race.

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