Former president endorses first wave of candidates for midterms elections
A total of 81 candidates for federal and state offices got the thumbs-up by former President Barack Obama on Wednesday, August 1 in his first wave of endorsements focused on candidates across 14 different states.
Among the first wave of endorsees is Fil-Am congressional candidate TJ Cox who is running for the California’s 21st congressional district, which includes Central Valley areas of Fresno County, Kern County, Kings County, and Tulare County.
“I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates — leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent,” said Obama.
“I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law,” he added. “But first, they need our votes.”
Included in the list shared widely on Twitter are five gubernatorial candidates, 40 state legislative candidates, several candidates running for secretary of state and attorney general, plus a few others.
While Obama gave endorsements for 22 House candidates, Rep. Jacky Rosen of Nevada’s race against GOP Sen. Dean Heller was the only Senate race endorsed in the list. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein got her endorsement by Obama back in May.
Of the gubernatorial candidates are: Gavin Newsom in California, Jared Polls in Colorado, Stacey Abrams in Georgia, J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, and Richard Cordray in Ohio.
Abrams is one of the 48 women endorsees — a group that makes up over half of the total candidates on the list. She would also become the first female African American governor in U.S. history, if elected.
For congressional races, among the endorsees are Harley Rouda for CA-48, Josh Harder for CA-10, Katie Hill for CA-25, Katie Porter for CA-45, Mike Levin for CA-49, Ammar Campa-Najjar for CA-50, and Fil-Am TJ Cox for CA-21.
Born in Walnut Creek, California to immigrant parents — his mother Perla De Castro from the Philippines, and half-Chinese father from China — Cox is among several congressional Filipino candidates who advanced to California’s general elections.
Like the other endorsed candidates, Cox thanked Obama on Twitter, adding, “let’s take back #CA21 and #FlipTheHouse!”
While Obama did hint possible endorsements after his “first wave” list, many were quick to notice names that were not included.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who took a big win over House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley during New York’s Democratic primary, for instance, was absent from the list.
So was Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who has increasingly been picking up gain against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
November midterm elections less than 100 days away
Most of the midterm elections will take place on November 6, and Obama’s endorsements come as Democrats hope to win control of both the House and the Senate which could ultimately give the party more power to investigate matters of the current administration.
Currently, Republicans control the House with 33 governor seats compared to 16 held by Democrats. Democrats who would have to flip a net of 23 seats to win control.
Of the 35 Senate seats up for grabs this election, 24 are currently held by Democrats, two by Democrat-leaning Independents, and nine by Republicans. There, Democrats would have to hold on to all of its seats plus the Independent seats, and gain two or three Republican seats. Six of those seats are in states where Trump won by large numbers during the 2016 presidential election.
Obama, has kept a low profile since leaving the White House with the exception of private political events and fundraisers. His first major address since leaving the White House barely came in July of this year when he warned in his speech in South Africa of “strongman politics” which many understood to be partly directed at current President Donald Trump.
Reuters reported that Obama pledged to be active on the campaign road ahead, putting him squarely against Trump who also has already been actively campaigning.
Among Trump’s most recent endorsees are Senate contender John James of Michigan , Troy Balderson for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, and Congressman David Kustoff of Tennessee’s 8th District.
According to a Pew Research Center survey in July, 31 percent of respondents said Obama had has done the best job as a U.S. president during his lifetime, compared to Trump who received 10 percent of respondents saying so. (Rae Ann Varona/AJPress)