Politics

Obamas Announce First Round of Endorsements

Includes alumni of his administration

 Former President Barack Obama, made his first round of endorsements in the 2018 election cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former President Barack Obama  waded into the 2018 elections and endorsed a slew of candidates across the country, including some who served in his administration.

Obama and former first lady Michelle made their announcement on Wednesday and said the former president would also focus on redistricting.

“Today’s endorsements also include several promising Obama administration and campaign alumni who heeded the President’s call in his farewell speech to ‘grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself,’” Obama’s office said in the announcement.

Here are the former Obama White House and campaign alumni who he endorsed:

  • Ammar Campa-Najjar, running in California’s 50th District against Rep. Duncan Hunter
  • Jill Schiller, running in Ohio’s 2nd District against Rep. Brad Wenstrup
  • Andy Kim, running in New Jersey’s 3rd District against Rep. Tom MacArthur
  • Adrienne Bell, running in Texas’ 14th District against Rep. Randy Weber
  • Tom Malinowski, running in in New Jersey’s 7th District against Rep. Leonard Lance
  • Colin Allred, running in Texas’ 32nd District against Rep. Pete Sessions.
  • Lauren Underwood, running in Illinois’ 14th District against Rep. Randy Hultgren

Obama also made several endorsements in swing districts in California, backing Harley Rouda in the 48th District, T.J. Cox in 21st, Katie Hill in the 25th District, Katie Porter in the 45th District and Mike Levin in the 49th.

In their home state of Illinois, the Obamas endorsed Brendan Kelly in the 12th District and Sean Casten in the 6th District.

In Nevada, they endorsed Susie Lee for the 3rd District, which is being vacated by Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen as she runs for Senate but broke for President Donald Trump.

The Obamas also endorsed Rep. Steven Horsford, who is running for his old seat in Nevada’s 4th District.

Deb Haaland, who is running in New Mexico’s 3rd District and hoping to be the first Native American woman in Congress, also nabbed an Obama endorsement.

In New York’s 19th District, Antonio Delgado received an endorsement for his candidacy in a district that broke for Obama in 2012 but flipped to Trump in 2016. He is running against Rep. John Faso

Obama also endorsed Aftab Pureval, who is running against Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District.

In Pennsylvania, Madeline Dean and Susan Wild are running in open seats after redistricting. Obama won the state twice.

But Michael Ahrens, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said in a statement that Obama was responsible for the Democratic Party's gutted state.

"No one's more to blame for how weak today's Democratic Party is than President Obama," he said. "He cost them over 1,000 legislative seats, decimated their state parties and voters rejected his policies at the ballot box less than two years ago."

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