Thus far, we have given endorsements to candidates for Illinois Governor, Illinois Senate and Illinois House based entirely on the scores these legislators earned during the 2017 session when it came to our graded bills pertaining to firearms. Now, we turn our attention to the second category of candidate we are urging gun sense voters to support.
In addition to identifying legislators that we believe deserve attention thanks to their continued efforts to fight the gun violence epidemic, we are also identifying districts - whether held by Republicans or Democrats - that need new representation based on the actions of the lawmakers currently in those seats. In Illinois, there is one of these districts where a Republican who received a -100% score is being challenged by a Democrat - the 109th. The Democrat running in that district, Cynthia Given, is our latest endorsement.
Ms. Given is a native of southeastern Illinois, a fourth generation small business owner, and a first-time candidate for office. She is running a truly grassroots campaign against an entrenched incumbent, but that incumbent, Rep. David Reis, has a regressive record when it comes to guns. He's the sponsor of a trio of bills that would loosen firearm restrictions on who can carry a weapon, shortening waiting periods, and even lowering the threshold temperature at which legal guns can deform.
While Reis is far from the only Illinois lawmaker who received a perfect negative score from us, he is unfortunately the only one that has drawn Democratic opposition. Reis is an entrenched incumbent, serving in the House since 2005 and almost always running unopposed. We commend Ms. Given on her decision to run, and believe she is deserving of our support in her effort to unseat Rep. Reis.
Her website can be found HERE.