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From The Editor | Virginia Sends Bloomberg Packing

From The Editor | Virginia Sends Bloomberg Packing

Billionaire gun-banner Michael Bloomberg waltzed into the commonwealth of Virginia a few weeks back with his incredible arrogance, an open checkbook and designs on putting like-minded gun-haters in charge of the state Senate. 

On Tuesday night—after getting his hat handed to him by Virginians who didn’t appreciate the outside interference of a nanny-state former New York City mayor—he slunk out of the Old Dominion with his tail between his legs. Despite $3 million spent by Bloomberg and out-of-state gun-control groups, and multiple attacks from anti-gun Gov. Terry McAuliffe, 92 percent of NRA-endorsed candidates won their elections and blocked an anti-gun majority in the Virginia Senate.  Not only did 21 out of 26 NRA-endorsed candidates (80 percent) win their Senate races, 63 of 65 NRA-endorsed candidates won their House races—more than 96 percent.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, put it best in summarizing the results. 

“Freedom had a great night at the ballot box,” Cox said. “In addition, we would like to congratulate NRA-endorsed candidates who did not waver in their commitment to protecting the Second Amendment. In Virginia’s hotly contested races, voters sent a loud and clear message that their gun rights are not for sale.”

Not only did 21 out of 26 NRA-endorsed candidates (80 percent) win their Senate races, 63 of 65 NRA-endorsed candidates won their House races—more than 96 percent. 

The resounding defeat even had those in the so-called “mainstream” media questioning whether Bloomberg and McAuliffe’s extreme anti-gun push caused just the opposite result of what they intended—especially in the critical race where Everytown for Gun Safety-backed Dan Gecker was defeated by Republican Glen Sturtevant in the Richmond area. 

As Robert McCartney reported in the on Wednesday: “When Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his fellow Democrats study what went wrong for them in Tuesday’s crucial legislative elections, one possible mistake stands out: Their aggressive advocacy of gun control in a pivotal Senate race in the Richmond area may have backfired by producing a pro-Republican backlash.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch also jumped on that bandwagon, expressing the belief that Gecker lost the election because of Bloomberg’s bucks, not in spite of them.

“The Democrat made a massive mistake when he accepted campaign swag from an interest group affiliated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seeks tougher gun control laws,” the paper published in a recent editorial. “Gecker might have lost anyway, but the Bloomberg intervention gave Powhatan voters a reason to rise up in indignation … A campaign focused on guns redounded to Gecker’s despair.”NRA-ILA’s Cox believes the resounding NRA-led pro-gun victories in Virginia and Mississippi indicate that those running on an extreme gun-ban platform could find tough going in next year’s critical presidential election.

Analysis in the aftermath of the election even had thenewrepublican.com suggesting in a headline: “Is Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Money Becoming Toxic?”

“Today, Virginians voted for a fiscally responsible and conservative majority,” the author wrote. “Our victory is all the more impressive in that it was achieved despite the record-breaking millions of dollars spent by Gov. McAuliffe, his allies and out-of-state PACS. This election was decided by Virginians.” 

It’s interesting to note that Virginia wasn’t the only state with a spectacular pro-gun victory last Tuesday night. In Mississippi, 97 percent of NRA-endorsed candidates won their races, including three of three statewide elected officials, 36 of 37 Senate races and 78 of 79 state House races. 

For his part, NRA-ILA’s Cox believes the resounding NRA-led pro-gun victories in Virginia and Mississippi indicate that those running on an extreme gun-ban platform could find tough going in next year’s critical presidential election. 

“The rebuke of Bloomberg’s anti-gun campaign in a swing state like Virginia does not bode well for Hillary Clinton and other politicians who are running campaigns on an anti-Second Amendment platform,” Cox concluded.  

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