Billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control advocacy group is pouring $2.2 million into TV ads backing two Virginia candidates for state Senate, in a bid to wrest control of the chamber from Republicans.
A victory on Tuesday by one of the Democrats backed by Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety would switch control of the 40-seat Senate in the state, home of the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby.
That could be a big boost for Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe, a gun control advocate who is seeking legislative victories as he heads presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s election effort in Virginia.
“Guns are always a hot-button issue in Virginia,” said Stephen Farnsworth, a political analyst at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. “It’s a wise investment to put money in a campaign that matters.”