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Braley draws big crowd to first Des Moines fundraiser

Braley draws big crowd to first Des Moines fundraiser

Organizers on Sunday for Rep. Bruce Braley's "Bruce, Blues and BBQ" fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines boasted they had double the people attending than the Republican Party of Iowa had on Friday when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was keynoting their fundraiser.

It was the first time Braley has held the annual fundraiser outside of Waterloo.  But this time, it's to raise funds for his US Senate campaign next year, in the drive to replace fellow Democrat Tom Harkin when he retires next year.

Braley relied on two old friends to be the main event at the afternoon event. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy commander and former astronaut Mark Kelly.

Giffords was nearly killed when a gunman opened fire at an outdoor event near Tucson, AZ in January of 2011. She and her husband have founded the organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, which is seeking to impose stricter gun controls. 

Her husband spoke at length about their effort to get Congress to impose mandatory criminal background checks before guns can be sold and to have them prohibit individuals from owning high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Here's video of the speeches by Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords:


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