10/10/2013 10:38 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mike Bloomberg Plans Big Push To Defeat Mark Pryor Over Background Checks Vote

As his New York City mayoral tenure winds to a close, Mike Bloomberg still has his sights set downing on a swing-state senator for his track record on gun control.

A wide-ranging TIME cover story published Thursday reveals Bloomberg plans a big spending push to defeat Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). Pryor was one of a handful of Democrats to vote nay on a failed mid-April Senate bill aimed at expanding gun background checks.

"If you support reasonable background checks, I will support you, even though we have probably nothing in common on any other issue," Bloomberg told TIME, referencing comments he made to background checks bill co-sponsor, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Pryor has been a focus for Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a Bloomberg-led coalition that fights for the preservation of the Second Amendment, along with the prevention of criminals illegally obtaining guns. Back in May, the group released an ad asking Pryor to reconsider his April background checks vote.

Pryor shot back at that ad, calling it "disgusting" for mentioning the death of Bill Gwatney, former Arkansas Democratic Party chair, who was shot and killed in 2008. Later in the month, he defended his vote, saying that nothing in President Barack Obama's gun control plan would have prevented shooting tragedies in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and other locales.

"I'm Mark Pryor, and I approve this ad because no one from New York or Washington tells me what to do," Pryor said in another ad. "I listen to Arkansas."

Arkansas will decide whether Pryor remains their senator in 2014. Back in August, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) announced he would challenge Pryor, and as of a month ago, HuffPost Pollster's compilation of five publicly available surveys shows the rivals are in a tight race.



Senators Who Voted NO On Background Checks