Crow town hall 2

U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Aurora, answers a question at a town hall in Aurora on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019.

Calling U.S. Rep. Jason Crow "a real partner" and "one of the easiest endorsements of the cycle," national gun-violence prevention organization Brady PAC is throwing its support behind the Aurora Democrat's re-election bid.

"He ran and won on the issue in 2018. He's a veteran, a father, a gun-owner who appreciates responsible gun ownership, and he has been a champion on the issue since his first day in Congress," Brian Lemek, executive director of Brady PAC, told Colorado Politics.

"In addition to our endorsement, he will have our full financial support, and the support of those that we are close with," he said, adding, "Guns are no longer a third-rail issue."

Crow, an attorney and Army Ranger veteran, unseated five-term U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman last cycle in the battleground 6th Congressional District, which covers Aurora and parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

Gun control was a central issue in the 2018 race, and one of Crow's first ads in 2018 blasted Coffman's record on gun legislation, tying his opponent's votes to financial support from the National Rifle Association.

The Brady PAC and its sister organization, Brady, are named after James Brady, the White House press secretary who was shot during the 1981 attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. The 1993 Brady Law establishing federal background checks on gun purchases also bears his name. 

"By the end of the cycle, through earmarked giving from Brady PAC donors, joint fundraising campaigns and Brady's federal contributions, Brady PAC federal contributions to Jason's campaign will exceed $25,000 this cycle," Lemke said.

Brady PAC, along with its sister organization and other prominent groups including Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, the group named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, plan to spend heavily in Colorado this year, The Hill reported in January.

Lemke aid Brady PAC alone expects to spend at least $4 million in federal races the cycle.

In 2018, Brady PAC reported spending $14,300 in independent expenditures in Crow's race, equally split between support for Crow and opposition to Coffman, and donated $5,000 to Crow's campaign.

Crow's likely Republican challenger, former Colorado Republican chairman Steve House, faces first-time candidates John Szemler and Ryan Gonzalez in a primary that could be decided Saturday at the GOP's district assembly.

Last week, another Republican running for the seat, Casper Stockham, announced he would instead challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in another district across town.

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