Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley, who became national advocates for gun control after losing their children in the Sandy Hook massacre, have opted against running for Congress.
Barden and Hockley are the co-founders of Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization focused on preventing gun violence and advocating for gun control at the state and national levels. Supporters had suggested either one of them run for Connecticut's Fifth District seat.
“Having both lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, we feel compelled to be with our surviving children during their high school years – we know all too well how precious and short time with family can be,” they said in a joint statement.
Barden’s son Daniel and Hockley’s son Dylan were both killed in the Newtown shooting.
The statement also said that being considered an honor, and that they would not rule out running for Congress in the future. For now, they will continue their work with Sandy Hook Promise.
“We started this journey together, and right now, we feel we can have more of an impact by seeing just how far we can go together,” the statement said.
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat, currently holds the seat. On April 2, Esty announced she would not run for re-election amid criticism and pressure to resign after she admitted to keeping her former chief of staff on after he was accused of threatening another female staff member.