In yet another indication that gun control is a losing issue for Democratic candidates, a Moms Demand Action leader has lost a special state senate election in a wealthy suburban district in Connecticut.
The district voted for Joe Biden by 20 points and Hillary Clinton by 16 points but just rejected Democratic candidate Alexis Gevanter in favor of her Republican opponent, Ryan Fazio. The race was close, but the final outcome could spell trouble for gun control candidates running in the 2022 election cycle.
“The fact that this seat that Biden won by about 20 points should be scaring people,” Gevanter’s campaign manager, Blake Reinken, told The Hill. “It could be really scary this time.”
“In a very educated place and a very socially liberal place, we connected [Fazio] to Trump and we connected them to these issues and they didn’t have to run from it as much as we’d think,” Reinken continued.
Gevanter had been the Connecticut Chapter Leader for Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a subsidiary of Everytown for Gun Safety led by anti-gun activist Shannon Watts.
Watts campaigned hard for Gevanter. She posted about the race multiple times on her Twitter page, and even volunteered for a phone bank.
Just joined dozens of other @MomsDemand and @StudentsDemand volunteers at a phone bank for Connecticut state senate candidate and former volunteer chapter leader @AlexisGevanter.— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 15, 2021
Only three days left to call, knock doors and VOTE! #ctleg #GSU2021 pic.twitter.com/duMcnJt1Mm
Gevanter was more than happy to lean into the anti-gun support. She called Watts her “personal hero” and claimed that “gun safety” was a “winning issue.”
“Over 90 percent of Americans support gun safety,” she told the Greenwich Free Press. “It’s a winning issue. I’m very proud of our many legislative successes this past few years.”
**A dream come true!!** I will be joining my personal hero Moms Demand Action founder @shannonrwatts to discuss the campaign live on her Instagram tomorrow, Fri, Aug 13 at 3 pm ET. JOIN US! #MomsAreEverywhere #keepgoing @CTDems #CTPolitics #CTLege pic.twitter.com/Wz2Ry9HlIU— Alexis Gevanter for CT State Senate (@AlexisGevanter) August 13, 2021
As part of her work at Moms Demand Action, Gevanter helped lead the effort to ban “ghost guns” and 3D printed guns, and to impose strict safe storage requirements. In a 2020 editorial written while she was chapter leader, she claimed the gun safety movement has “never been stronger” and that “nearly 90 percent of Americans, including gun owners, agree we need action now to reduce gun violence.”
Those Americans, apparently, don’t live in her district. In an area with more Democrats than Republicans, she was only able to secure 47.6% of the vote. Fazio, her Republican opponent, secured 50.1% of the vote.
Gevanter’s loss could also spell trouble for Everytown’s new candidate election initiative, “Demand a Seat.” The group announced earlier this month its plans to spend $3 million to recruit and train at least 200 volunteers to run for office in the 2021-2022 and the 2024 election cycles.
“Demand a Seat will harness the grassroots momentum and volunteer base of one of the largest advocacy organizations in the country to recruit and train volunteers to take the next step in their advocacy by running for office on a platform of gun safety,” said the organization in a press release obtained by GunsAmerica.
If a Moms Demand Action candidate can’t win in Greenwich, Ct., Everytown officials may need to rethink their $3 million investment.