The race in the 10th Congressional District is shaping up to be one of the closest watched races in the state for 2020 and this gun control group has officially thrown support behind one candidate.
Brady PAC, the sister organization of the Brady Campaign, the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention advocacy group, endorsed Democrat Eugene DePasquale’s bid for the seat held by Rep. Scott Perry (R-York).
“We’re looking at Scott Perry and we’re saying he will never be on our side of the issue,” said Brian Lemek, the Executive Director of the Brady PAC, in an interview with PoliticsPA about Perry’s voting record on guns. “His voting is dangerous to Americans.”
“We look at DePasquale and say, not only is he great on our issue, he’s great on a multitude of issues,” Lemek continued. “He’s got fundraising dollars coming to him, he has the support from some national and local organizations, he has a really great team, he’s got a chance at winning this.”
Brady PAC has already pledged financial support for five incumbents in Pennsylvania – Reps. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia), Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), and Susan Wild (D-Lehigh). DePasquale is the first challenger the group endorsed in the state.
Perry’s campaign described the Brady PAC as an “anti-2nd Amendment group” and also pointed to Planned Parenthood endorsing DePasquale, as proof that the Democrat is out of touch with central Pennsylvania.
“It’s not surprising that Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked congressional candidate, Eugene DePasquale, was endorsed by another liberal group – also close to Nancy Pelosi,” said Brian Nutt, Perry campaign spokesperson. “Central Pennsylvania voters should be concerned that DePasquale is tied so closely to Nancy Pelosi, and is the poster child for the far left whose values are not central Pennsylvania’s values.”
Brady PAC sees DePasquale not only as a strong candidate for the seat, but described it as the priority race in the state and one of the most closely watched House races for the group in the nation.
“He is one of a handful of House races we’re looking at as serious I.E. (independent expenditure) contenders,” Lemek said. “There’s about 5, we’re thinking of investing in 3. He is definitely, 100%, one of them.”
Brady PAC has a growing budget of over $5 million for this cycle and plans to invest in over 200 federal and state races nationwide. While pointing to previous House races, Lemek said that $25K to $30K could given to boost DePasquale’s campaign through grassroots effort, but if the group elects to make an independent expenditure in the race, it could be between $250,000 to $300,000.
“We think that DePasquale is going to win this thing,” Lemek said. “But we know he needs our support and the support of many others.”
Although the group has their sights set on electing DePasquale for the seat, the state Auditor running for this congressional seat still has to get past the primary. Tom Brier, an attorney and author, is also vying for the Democratic Party nomination.
A number of national outlets have this House race as the closest in Pennsylvania as of now.