PRESS RELEASE: G-PAC Illinois and Giffords PAC Jointly Endorse 71 Candidates for the November 3, 2020 Election

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Kathleen Sances


 G-PAC Illinois and Giffords PAC Jointly Endorse 71 Candidates for the November 3, 2020 Election

Amid historic rates of gun violence, we must elect legislators willing to pass policies to keep our children, families, and communities safe from gun violence. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Today, Gun Violence Prevention PAC Illinois (G-PAC) the leading Illinois nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to ending gun violence and GIFFORDS PAC, the national organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced their joint endorsement of 57 State Representative Candidates and 14 State Senate Candidates for the Illinois General Assembly. 

Each of these gun safety candidates has demonstrated a strong commitment to gun violence prevention policies that stop the flow of illegal guns and make Illinois communities safer. The general election on November 3, 2020 will be one of the most historic elections of our lifetimes as we will have the opportunity to elect candidates committed to ending the epidemic that is the leading killer of Illinois children and adolescent Black males: gun violence. 

“G-PAC Illinois is proud to endorse its most diverse selection of candidates ever for the November 3, 2020 General Election – all of whom are committed to ending our state’s gun violence epidemic. When elected, these candidates will work to defeat the corrupt NRA agenda that puts profits before lives while we continue to lose our children to preventable and senseless gun violence. We look forward to having elected officials that prioritize policies that save lives and block the flow of illegal guns into our communities,“ Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of Gun Violence Prevention PAC. 

New to their political program for 2020, the organizations are focusing on races that will add to or protect a gun safety majority in Springfield. The priority races are:

Rep. Diane Pappas, Rep. Mary Edley Allen, Rep. Joyce Mason, Suzanne Ness, Maura Hirschauer, Martha Paschke, Henry Benton, Janet Yang-Rohr.

Statement from Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords: “Illinois made great progress in saving lives because of the determination of gun safety champions from across the state. Now is not the time to turn back. With a strong majority dedicated to addressing this crisis, Illinois will remain an example to other states in the fight to end gun violence. I am proud to stand with G-PAC and endorse today’s candidates for the Illinois State legislature. They have what it takes to stand up to the corporate gun lobby and be fierce advocates for safer communities.”

For a comprehensive list of all endorsed candidates please visit If elected, these gun safety candidates will lead on requiring background checks on all gun sales, strengthening state licensing requirements, restricting large-capacity ammunition magazines, investing in community-based violence prevention programs, and educating the public about the ‘red flag’ firearm restraining order law (FRO).

Statement from Survivor and G-PAC Board Member Pam Bosley: “As a survivor of gun violence we must elect candidates who will fight to end the senseless gun violence that claims the lives of too many Chicago children, including my son, Terrell whose life was ended by daily senseless gun violence on the grounds of a church. If we want change, we must elect candidates that will pass the policies to reduce gun violence which is the leading cause of death for black youth in America.”



The Illinois Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC) is a non-partisan political action committee that was founded to counter the political influence of the gun industry and their lobby in Springfield, Illinois. G-PAC raises the resources necessary to protect and elect public officials who step up to fight the gun violence epidemic and work against those who don’t support keeping our communities safe.


Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords 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.