Primary Endorsements: G-PAC, Giffords PAC, and Brady PAC Announce Gun Safety Candidates in Contested Races

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Primary Endorsements: G-PAC, Giffords PAC, and Brady PAC Announce Gun Safety Candidates in Contested Races

Chicago — A coalition of gun violence prevention organizations announced their first set of endorsements of gun safety candidates who are running in the upcoming Illinois primary election on June 28th.

The Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC), Giffords PAC and Brady PAC evaluated candidates by using G-PAC’s Gun Safety Report Card along with a rigorous questionnaire. The Gun Safety Report Card evaluated incumbents on their positions on 2021 legislation to ‘Block Illegal Ownership and Fix the FOID’, among others. The questionnaire also asked candidates about the recently passed measure to make ghost guns illegal, as well as other issues around large capacity magazines, assault weapons, and gun trafficking.

Current office holders were required to have scored an “A” or “B” on their Gun Safety Report Card to be considered for endorsement, and all candidates must have given strong responses, demonstrating their commitment to ending gun violence in our communities by supporting crucial legislation that will stop the flow of illegal guns into our state.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that demands the undivided attention of our elected officials,” said Kathleen Sances, President and CEO of G-PAC, the state’s leading gun violence prevention organization. “To earn our endorsement, each candidate has demonstrated their commitment to ending gun violence and taking urgent action to make Illinois a safer state. G-PAC won’t sit by while tragic incidents of gun violence blanket the news. We are working every day to ensure our elected officials are living up to their word and advancing life-saving measures to protect our communities.”

“State legislatures are critical in keeping Americans safe from gun violence, and Illinois is a state that’s leading the fight. Illinois has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, thanks in part to many of the leaders we’re proud to be endorsing today,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. “These candidates understand the toll this epidemic takes on Illinois communities. What this country needs now more than ever are champions who will stop at nothing to end our nation’s gun violence crisis. Today, I am proud to stand behind these candidates who are ready to make the communities of Illinois safer for all.”

“State leaders are on the frontlines of keeping families and communities safe from gun violence,” shared Brady PAC Executive Director Jason Pressberg. “These candidates understand that important role and have demonstrated their commitment to preventing gun violence and strengthening Illinois’ common-sense gun laws. Brady PAC is proud to join G-PAC and Giffords in endorsing these leaders for election and we stand with them in the fight to stop this deadly public health crisis.”

G-PAC, Giffords PAC, and Brady PAC’s Primary Election Endorsements include:

Illinois House of Representatives:

  • Sonya Harper, 6th District
  • Sergio Mojica, 13th District*
  • Eileen Dordek, 13th District*
  • Hoan Huynh, 13th District*
  • Mike Kelly, 15th District
  • Kevin Olickal, 16th District
  • Lindsey La Pointe, 19th District
  • Mike Zalewski, 21st District
  • Justin Slaughter, 27th District
  • Thaddeus Jones, 29th District
  • Nabeela Syed, 51st District*
  • Chelsea Laliberte Barnes, 51st District*
  • Laura Faver Dias, 62nd District*
  • Thomas Maillard, 62nd District*
  • Kathy Willis, 77th District
  • Arad Boxenbaum, 83rd District*
  • Karla Bailey-Smith, 91st District*
  • Natalie Manley, 98th District

Illinois Senate:

  • Javier Loera Cervantes, 1st District*
  • Omar Aquino, 2nd District
  • Robert Martwick, 10th District
  • Celina Villanueva, 12th District
    La’mont Raymond Williams, 16th District*
    Sam Yingling, 31st District*
    Mary Edly-Allen, 31st District*
    Rachel Ventura, 43rd District*

Cook County Sheriff:

  • Tom Dart

Cook County President:

  • Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Board of Commissioners:

  • Dennis Deer, 2nd District
  • Bill Lowry, 3rd District
  • Vernard Alsberry, 5th District*
  • Jaylin McClinton, 5th District*
  • Donna Miller, 6th District
  • Maggie Trevor, 9th District*
  • Bridget Degnen, 12th District
  • Josina Morita, 13th District*
  • Scott Britton, 14th District
  • Kevin Morrison, 15th District
  • Frank Aguilar, 16th District
  • Lou Gale, 17th District*
  • Dan Calandriello, 17th District*

*Denotes a candidate running in an open seat


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.

About Brady PAC:
Formed leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, Brady PAC was created to serve as a counterweight to “dark money” Super PACs created by the gun industry lobby. It upholds the policy ideals that have been championed by its sister organization, Brady — one of the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention grassroots advocacy organizations. Brady PAC supports candidates running for local, state, and federal office who support universal background checks, reenacting the assault weapons ban, extreme risk protection orders, and instituting other common-sense gun violence prevention legislation that will make our homes, schools, and communities 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.