[Washington DC]: Giffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of former Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek for Governor. Speaker Kotek is exactly the candidate that Oregonians need in this moment, and she will bring a record of key gun safety wins and strategic leadership with her to the governor’s mansion. We know that the work she will do in this role will save countless lives from gun violence.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“I am thrilled to support Tina Kotek as she fights for the safety of all Oregonians. Her public service record speaks for itself—under her leadership, Oregon has made great strides in the fight against gun violence. Tina and I have worked hand in hand to pass gun safety legislation like universal background checks that will continue saving the lives of Oregonians. Tina is a fierce advocate for gun safety, and she is committed to the commonsense solutions we know will put an end to this epidemic. She has proved time and again that she will always prioritize families and communities in Oregon above all else, and we are lucky to have her in this fight with us. We are proud to endorse Tina Kotek for governor.”
“Oregon’s next governor will have the responsibility to determine whether our state continues to move forward on preventing gun violence. It is critical for the safety of our communities that we continue to be bold in our response to gun violence prevention. As House Speaker, I stepped up to advance commonsense gun safety reforms. Under my leadership, we passed legislation to require the safe storage of firearms, keeping our children safe from potentially deadly accidents. We closed dangerous loopholes in our state laws and required universal background checks for gun purchases, aiding the fight to keep guns out of dangerous hands. I am proud to have delivered real results for Oregonians, even in the midst of intense NRA opposition. As Oregon’s next Governor, you can count on me to keep moving Oregon forward for commonsense policies that put community safety first.”
First elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2007, Tina Kotek went on to serve as the nation’s first out lesbian speaker of any statehouse in the country, as well as Oregon’s longest-serving house speaker in state history. Under Kotek’s leadership, Oregon served as an example for states around the country by implementing universal background checks on gun purchases, enshrining strong safe storage requirements into law, and closing dangerous loopholes that allowed individuals who have committed domestic abuse to access firearms.
This year, Kotek helped lay the groundwork for Oregon to pass a final state budget that included $15 million in funding to prevent gun violence and support violence intervention strategies. Additionally, she spearheaded an effort to secure $4 million to support and expand hospital-based violence intervention and prevention programs, and $1 million to start up new programs outside of the Portland area before her departure from the legislature. This vital funding will also allow Oregon medical providers to seek Medicaid reimbursement for these programs, providing long-term, stable funding for crucial community violence intervention methods.
As our nation continues to see spiking rates of gun violence from coast to coast, the need to elect governors who can achieve real results has become more important than ever. Tina Kotek will lead with empathy and compassion, and she will always put the safety of her state’s residents first. Giffords PAC is proud to endorse Tina Kotek for governor.