First Endorsements: G-PAC and Giffords PAC Announce Initial Slate of Gun Safety Candidates in 2022 General Election 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


First Endorsements: G-PAC and Giffords PAC Announce Initial Slate of Gun Safety Candidates in 2022 General Election 

Chicago — The Gun Violence Prevention PAC and Giffords PAC are announcing their first set of endorsements of gun safety candidates who are running in the upcoming Illinois general election on November 8, 2022.

After vetting each candidate’s voting record, policy platforms and responses to a  rigorous questionnaire, the leading gun violence prevention organizations are putting their full support behind 15 candidates running for the Illinois Senate and Illinois House of Representatives.

To earn a gun safety endorsement, each candidate demonstrated strong support of the following policies:

  • Banning assault weapons
  • Banning large-capacity magazines (LCMs)
  • Making ghost guns illegal, which G-PAC and Giffords helped pass into law earlier this year
  • Funding community violence intervention programs 
  • Funding a gun storage public awareness campaign

“Gun violence has become a way of life for Illinois residents and that is unacceptable. In the upcoming election, voters are looking for candidates who will stand up to the gun lobby and advance legislation to keep illegal guns and weapons of war out of our communities.” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC). “Gun violence is on the ballot in November and we will work tirelessly to ensure this slate is elected.”

“State legislators have the power and opportunity to make their communities safer from gun violence as they are at the forefront of enacting gun laws that can and do save lives. That’s why we’re proud to be endorsing these gun safety champions today,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “These candidates understand the devastating impact gun violence takes on neighborhoods across Illinois. They stand ready to enact much needed legislation in the effort to end our nation’s gun violence crisis. Today, I am proud to stand behind these candidates who are ready to make Illinois safer for all.”

Illinois just ended a deadly summer with 29 mass shootings, more than 600 expressway shootings, and more than 1,200 people shot in the City of Chicago alone. Endorsed candidates have demonstrated urgency of this public health crisis and their unwavering willingness to do something about it.

Each endorsed candidate supports our #1 legislative priority when the General Assembly is called into session: banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. These weapons of war have been shown to contribute to both city violence and mass shootings.

The first endorsed gun safety candidates in the 2022 election include:

Illinois Senate:

  • Sen. Laura Ellman (SD 21)
  • Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton (SD 23)
  • Maria Peterson (SD 26)
  • Sen. Ann Gillespie (SD 27)
  • Sen. Laura Murphy (SD 28)

Illinois House of Representatives:

  • Rep. Janet Yang Rohr (HD 41)
  • Rep. Terra Costa Howard (HD 42)
  • Diane Blair-Sherlock (HD 46)
  • Rep. Maura Hirschauer  (HD 49)
  • Rep. Mark Walker (HD 53)
  • Mary Beth Canty (HD 54)
  • Rep. Joyce Mason (HD 61)
  • Laura Faver Dias (HD 62)
  • Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (HD 81)

Additional announcements are forthcoming on local, state legislative and statewide endorsements.


About Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)

The Gun Violence Prevention Political Action Committee (G-PAC) is the state’s leading gun violence advocacy organization. It was founded in 2013 to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield.

About Giffords PAC

Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords PAC inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.


As the Lake County State’s Attorney, I am honored and humbled every day to lead the fight against crime, and to strive to ensure equal and just treatment under the law. I have been an attorney for twenty-two years – and each of those years has made me a stronger and smarter advocate for people, for ideas, and for the principles that unite us all.

I am so proud to lead an office of 140 dedicated colleagues who serve the public by prosecuting crime, advocating for victims, and planning crime prevention programs. I am also proud to work with hundreds of Lake County police officers on a daily basis to connect with every community and to develop comprehensive, holistic plans to respond to the mental health and economic crisis that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On one particular day, July 4, 2022, I was saddened, inspired, and motivated by the bravery of so many people. We will always stand with the victims and honor the police and other first responders who ran toward the danger. Just as so many heroes that day thought only of themselves, I also witnessed the prosecutors in my office answer the call to serve survivors and their community – even on one of its darkest days.

Every moment that I have been your legal representative, I have worked tirelessly to oversee prosecutions and to implement policies that make my family and my neighbors safer in the short term and in the long term. That is the job of the State’s Attorney: to prosecute, to innovate, and to strategically plan.

I was raised in a small town. My parents are teachers, and from them, I learned that everyone must be treated equally and that America’s sacred mission is to provide a political, economic, and legal system that allows anyone to prosper regardless of the circumstances of their birth. After graduating from Knox College and the University of Chicago Law School, I spent two years at a first-rate civil law firm in Chicago where I learned that hard work and attention to detail on every case mean the difference between success and failure.

With my wonderful wife Stephanie, I am raising my two sons, Sam and Teddy, in Lake County. Nothing is more important to me than my family’s safety and I bring that passion and determination to protect all families with me to work every day.

I joined the Lake County Public Defender’s Office in 2003 and started my own law firm in 2009. From 2003 until 2020, I watched the Lake County legal system fail to prioritize violent crime, prevent wrongful prosecutions, or address racial disparities.

So, in 2019, I decided to run for State’s Attorney so that I could serve our community by improving a local legal system that cared more about covering up its mistakes and biases than uncovering new and innovative ways to help people.

I won the 2020 election, and became the first Democrat to hold this position in 40 years. Bringing in a new party wasn’t as important as ending 40 years of one mindset that had forgotten the people and that had failed to act urgently to develop new strategic plans to prevent crime while also ensuring that each prosecution is smart, moral, and just.

We have followed through on our promises. We have built the first-ever violent crimes unit, increased prosecutors in our domestic violence division, and vastly upgraded our cyber lab. Now, we have top-notch software and personnel to finally keep up with those who would exploit others.

We have been awarded a large federal grant to bring the first ever Human Trafficking Task Force to Lake County. We have deepened our investment in people by bringing in more victim specialists and raising the salaries of many of our prosecutors.

But the work goes on. We must expand our prevention efforts that are starting with the Gun Violence Prevention Initiative launched in 2022. And we know that the opioid crisis touches thousands of lives throughout this country.

I am proud to serve on the Executive Board of the Lake County Opioid Initiative which has been working tirelessly since its founding in 2012 to reverse a devastating trend of increased overdoses. In 2022, our office was part of a national settlement against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

As an attorney of 22 years, I have committed my life to helping people, and I have conducted over 70 jury trials in Lake County, and handled appeals that have culminated in over 20 oral arguments before the appellate court and Supreme Court of Illinois.

I see my time in this office as the next phase of helping a community that I love and where I have chosen to raise my family. In my first term, we have made Lake County safer and fairer through just prosecutions, constitutional policing, and innovative crime prevention policies.