A national gun control advocacy group with financial backing from Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is pumping $8 million into Texas races this election, with the goal of flipping the state House and returning vulnerable Democrats to Congress, The Dallas Morning News reports. Everytown for Gun Safety unveiled plans Wednesday to use the same strategies it employed last year in Virginia, where Democrats won control of the state house for the first time in two decades. Since then, Virginia lawmakers have advanced proposals to expand background checks and limit handgun purchases, but a bill to ban assault-style weapons stalled this week.
“We believe Texas can be the next emerging battleground, with gun safety as the tipping point,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said during a call announcing the initiative. “The state is becoming younger and increasingly diverse. And after years of failure by leaders to address gun violence, it’s become a top issue for voters, especially in the suburbs.” Over a third of the group’s state House targets are in North Texas, as is a congressional seat held by freshman Democrat Colin Allred it is seeking to defend. Everytown for Gun Safety is planning to plow at least $60 million into elections across the country this year, doubling its spending from last cycle.