Gun-control group plans to spend $5 million in Arizona

TINLEY PARK, IL - DECEMBER 17: A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store on December 17, 2012 in Tinley Park, Illinois. Americans purchased a record number of guns in 2012 and gun makers have reported a record high in

A gun-control advocacy group co-founded by Mike Bloomberg announced Tuesday it will spend at least $5 million on Arizona political campaigns this year.

Everytown for Gun Safety said the money will support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, Mark Kelly’s Senate bid and candidates running in five legislative districts.

It’s part of a $60 million spending spree Everytown plans around the country. Arizona is increasingly being targeted by big-spending political groups as the former Republican stronghold emerges as a political battleground.

Everytown officials say they’ll focus on advertising and grassroots organizing, especially in Maricopa County, where the group sees a receptive audience in the fast-growing suburbs of Phoenix. They’ll try to appeal to women, young people, and Spanish-speaking voters, among others.

"Everytown is investing heavily in Arizona because the political calculus in the state has dramatically shifted," said John Feinblatt, Everytown’s president.

The presidential campaigns are eyeing Arizona’s 11 electoral votes, and the Senate race between Kelly and Republican Sen. Martha McSally is a top-tier contest that will help determine control of the upper chamber of Congress.

Everytown also says it will target Legislative District 6 in northern and eastern Arizona, along with Districts 18, 19, 20, and 21 in the Phoenix area.

Sam Zager, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign, said it shows Democrats need help in Arizona.

"They know they’re so far behind Republicans in Arizona, they’ll take whatever out-of-state help they can get," Zager said.