Milwaukee Defeat Signals Limits of Bloomberg's Anti-gun Push

Image: Milwaukee Defeat Signals Limits of Bloomberg's Anti-gun Push (Richard Drew/UPI/Landov)

Thursday, 14 Aug 2014 07:37 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg may have reached the limits of influence in his national anti-gun push.

Bloomberg suffered a major defeat when his preferred candidate for Milwaukee County Sheriff in Tuesday's Democratic primary, Chris Moews, lost to incumbent David Clarke, a strong gun rights advocate, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Some Republicans crossed over to vote in the Democratic primary helping Clarke. He also did well in suburban areas and among African Americans in Milwaukee giving him a 52 to 48 percent win, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Bloomberg has committed to spending millions of dollars in support of local and statewide candidates who will work for greater control of firearms. He threw in $150,000 to help Moews with radio and television commercials. Besides countering Bloomberg money with $30,000 for Clarke, the National Rifle Association mobilized its members to get out the vote, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Clarke is a conservative Democrat who has called on citizens to arm themselves rather than rely exclusively on understaffed police for their safety, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bloomberg's gun control efforts have met with mixed results. His contribution of $350,00 failed to protect two state senators who lost recall votes in Colorado over their backing of stricter gun control measures.

His efforts to get state officials to embrace tighter background checks for gun buyers in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada did not pan out, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The former mayor's $1.5 million investment in Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor did pay off, as did his support in Illinois for Robin Kelly, who is now in Congress. In 2012, Bloomberg helped oust NRA-backed congressman Joe Baca in California, the Journal reported.

Also, as a result of Bloomberg's efforts, Target, Chipotle, and Starbucks discourage customers from bringing guns into their stores, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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