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Mark Kelly anti-gun-violence group to spend big in 2014 elections

Mark Kelly anti-gun-violence group to spend big in 2014 elections
Retired Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and co-founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 30, 2013. UPI/Pete Marovich | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Retired U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly says his anti-gun-violence group wants to "spend in the 2014 elections what the [National Rifle Association] spent in 2012."

Kelly founded Americans for Responsible Solutions 10 months ago, shortly after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and nearly two years after his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in a massacre in Tuscon, ABC News reported.

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Kelly said Friday his group has raised more than $11 million from 130,000 donors and plans to use those funds to support candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.

"We would like to spend in the 2014 elections what the NRA spent in 2012," Kelly said, referring to the $19 million the National Rifle Association spent during the 2012 elections. "We've got the resources to be effective for the 2014 elections."

Kelly acknowledged that going against the NRA will be a big challenge.

"You've got to give [gun lobbyists] a lot of credit, especially the NRA has done a fabulous job in trying to accomplish what their goals are," Kelly said. "Our goal is to eventually have an organization that is as formidable as the gun lobby.

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"The interesting thing about this issue is that we don't have to change anyone's mind about the policy. You just have to change their mind about the politics," Kelly said. "You've got to give them the confidence that they can stay in office, and I think we can do that."

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