Giffords’ gun control group will support Udall, may target Coffman

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, faces reelection in 2014.

Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, faces reelection in 2014.

DENVER — Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is among the candidates that will get money this fall from Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control advocacy group founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.

The group, which expects to raise more than $20 million this year but hasn’t indicated how much it plans to spend, may also go after Congressman Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, an opponent of gun control who is battling Democrat Andrew Romanoff in one of the tightest House races of the 2014 cycle.

While the group aims to counter the advertising from the National Rifle Association and other anti-gun control groups, its spending in Colorado may run counter to its goal of helping pro-gun control Democrats, given how the issue played out here in 2013 with three Democrats forced from office due to a recall movement sparked as part of a backlash to new gun control laws enacted by the Democratic legislature.

While Democrats at the Capitol fought hard to defend the new laws this year in response to GOP repeal efforts, they’d just as soon the gun control issue not be on voters minds this fall.

Americans for Responsible Solutions is backing a number of Democrats in competitive races who voted for the bipartisan legislation to tighten background checks last spring: Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Kay Hagan, D-N.C. and Al Franken D-Minn.; and Reps. Ron Barber. D-Ariz., Ann Kuster, D-N.H., Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, who is running for the Senate.

But the group is also backing Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine,who’s favored for reelection, and Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., in a closely watched race.