GOP Retains VA Senate, Yet Gabby Giffords’ Gun Control Group Claims Victory

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

On November 3, voters kept the Virginia Senate in the hands of pro-gun Republicans, yet Gabby Giffords’ gun control group–Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS)–claimed victory because a Democrat they supported won a seat vacated by a Democrat.

In other words, the GOP controlled the VA Senate by a margin of 21-19 on November 2 and awoke on November 4 to find they had staved off anti-Second Amendment opposition and were still holding the Senate by a margin of 21-19. Nonetheless, Giffords & Co. claimed victory. In fact, they claimed a string of unbroken victories from 2013 until now.

They must somehow be excluding the shellacking candidates backed by Giffords’ gun control group took in the 2014 midterms. As The Hill reported, Giffords and her groups only endorsed 16 candidates in the midterms–trying to pick races that were winnable–yet they lost in more than 50 percent of those races. To top it off, they lost Giffords’ old congressional seat–Arizona Dist. 2–to pro-Second Amendment Martha McSally (R-AZ-2).

Yet on November 4, ARS assured supporters that they won on Tuesday and that they have been winning for the past two years.

ARS executive director Hayley Zachary said, “For the third election in a row, we took on the gun lobby right in its own backyard and won.” Zachary explained the claim to victory rested on the fact that Democrat Jeremy McPike is now Senator-Elect McPike. She did not mention that McPike’s victory represents zero gain; he won a seat being vacated by a Democrat. Instead, Zachary continued:

We congratulate Senator-Elect McPike on his election to the Virginia Senate. Senator-Elect McPike stood up to the gun lobby and stood with the vast majority of Virginians and Americans who support commonsense policies like background checks on all gun sales to help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And once again, we saw that a candidate can run and win on their support for commonsense gun violence prevention policies like background checks.

While claiming victory, ARS was strangely silent on the fact that they opposed pro-Second Amendment Senate Dist. 10 candidate Glen Sturtevant (R) to the bitter end, yet Senator-Elect Sturtevant emerged victorious. And Sturtevant’s victory was not just any victory; rather, it was the one in which Michael Bloomberg-funded gun control groups were so heavily involved. It was one of the seats that needed to go to a Democrat if the Senate were to change hands.

But ARS and Bloomberg lost.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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