Brady PAC, the sister organization of Brady, the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention group, endorsed Hickenlooper last week, and a spokesman said the organization plans to spend big in the race.
“Brady PAC and Governor Hickenlooper have a shared goal to flip the Anti Gun Violence Prevention Majority and it starts by defeating Cory Gardner,” Brian Lemek, executive director of Brady PAC, told Colorado Politics in a statement.
“Time and time again Gardner and his Senate colleagues have avoided introducing legislation that could save countless lives, the most egregious being expanded background checks legislation that has passed the House and is supported by over 90% of Americans. We know, with Hickenlooper in the Senate, working to pass life saving legislation, Coloradans and all Americans will be more safe — which is why Brady PAC is proud to endorse him and plans to put our full weight behind Gov. Hickenlooper in this race.”
Hickenlooper has also won endorsements from sister organizations Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and Moms Demand Action.
Hickenlooper signed controversial legislation to require background checks and ban high-capacity magazines in 2013, in the wake of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and a mass shooting later that year at an elementary school in Newton, Conn.
Opponents of the legislation recalled two Democratic state senators from office, and a third Democrat resigned her Senate seat in the face of a threatened recall.
While Hickenlooper has made the legislation a focus of his campaign, critics have questioned his enthusiasm at the time, pointing to a recording of the then-governor telling a meeting of Colorado sheriffs that he might not have signed the magazine limit if he’d known it would cause so much controversy.
Gardner has been the beneficiary of nearly $4 million in campaign contributions and spending by the NRA over his congressional career, but his supporters cite his legislative work to address mental health issues and authorize federal school safety grants.