As Tom Knighton said in reference to the announcement that Everytown endorsed 11 Democrats for the US Senate, they “announced Senate candidates it was buying.” I think he hit the nail on the head.
The gun-control advocacy group threw its support behind 11 Democratic Senate candidates including Mark Kelly in Arizona, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Sara Gideon in Maine, Rep. Ben Ray Luján in New Mexico, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina, Jaime Harrison in South Carolina and MJ Hegar in Texas.
The endorsement of Gideon is particularly notable given the group endorsed incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins (D-Maine) in 2014.
With the possible exception of Gideon, there are no surprises on this list.
Mark Kelly was a gimme given he is “Mr. Gabby Giffords” and is trying to ride the gun control train into office. Likewise, John Hickenlooper aka Hickenstupid sold his soul to Michael Bloomberg years ago.
Closer to me, Jaime Harrison is the former head of the SC Democrat Party, is a protege of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, and parlayed his work for Clyburn into a job as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group. I have been seeing his ads since early spring as our local TV stations cover the Upstate of South Carolina. If his ads were the only thing you knew about him, you would know he got a scholarship to Yale and that he taught school for a year. He never happens to mention he went to law school or that he worked for many years as a lobbyist.
Moving on to Cal Cunningham here in North Carolina, you saw a ton of ads for him early in the spring. Some so-called veterans PAC was running a lot of ads for him touting that he served in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star. You got the impression he was like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) who, despite being a Harvard Law School grad, served as an infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. If that was your impression, you’d be wrong. Cunningham served as a JAG attorney in the Army Reserve attached to the XVIII Airborne Corps. His Bronze Star was awarded for meritorious service overseeing a number of attorneys and paralegals. In other words, he got it for acting like the managing partner of a law firm – not for leading troops in combat.
While Cunningham served in the State Senate from 2000-2004 representing Davidson County, he now lives in Raleigh though he is still listed as an attorney in his father’s law practice in Lexington. He is also the VP and General Counsel of solid waste company WasteZero. If I had to characterize Cunningham, it would be as the John Edwards of 2020 without the narcissistic attention to hair. Cunningham has also been endorsed by the Cult of Personality known as Giffords.
One final note – Mary Jane “MJ” Hegar of Texas is in a runoff for the nomination. She faces State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) in the July 14th runoff. While she leads in money raised and came in first in the primary, West has the backing of most Democrats in the Texas Legislature.