Everytown for Gun Safety targets Orlando, Tampa for TV blitz

The group plans to spend $6 million statewide to support Joe Biden.

The gun law reform group Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund announced it will spend $6 million on TV and digital ads in Florida, most of it in Orlando and Tampa, supporting Joe Biden for President.

Everytown will partner with the Democratic-supporting committee Priorities USA to produce the ads supporting Biden and opposing President Donald Trump‘s reelection. The blitz represent Everytown’s first major ad buy in Florida this cycle and the group’s first major ad buy in the presidential campaign.

The campaign starts after Labor Day.

The victory fund is a political action committee associated with the Everytown for Gun Safety, which was formed in 2013 by merging two gun law reform groups heavily funded by former New York City Mayor and former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.

The victory fund’s 2020 money so far has come largely from another PAC, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, and from former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer.

The $6 million Florida advertising campaign includes $4 million for TV ads in the Tampa and Orlando markets. The other $2 million will go into digital advertising to run statewide.

“Facing a gun violence crisis that claims 100 American lives every day, President Trump has chosen the gun lobby over the safety of the American people at every turn,” John Feinblatt, head of Everytown Victory Fund, stated in a news release. “Together with Priorities, we’re going all-in to make sure Trump’s a one-term President. Everytown has an aggressive plan to mobilize voters in Florida, who know the pain of gun violence all too well and are poised to play a decisive role in electing Joe Biden, a proven gun sense champion.”

In announcing the campaign, Everytown said its polling shows a strong desire for stronger gun laws in swing states, and particularly among Florida’s Hispanic voters, especially since the mass shooting in El Paso in 2019. Hispanics also were the majority of victims in the Pulse nightclub massacre Orlando in 2016.

“American families have endured unspeakable tragedy because of the epidemic of gun violence. While an overwhelming number of Americans support sensible gun safety measures, Donald Trump and his Republican allies refuse to act,” Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA stated in the release. “Priorities is proud to partner with Everytown to give voice to this important issue on the airwaves and hold Donald Trump accountable for his failure to keep us safe. Florida voters are ready for a president who will put them first. They’re ready for Joe Biden.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


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