Former President Barack Obama endorsed 81 candidates Wednesday in the midterm elections across the country, calling the group “as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent.”
The list includes J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic nominee for governor of Illinois from a family that donated heavily to Mr. Obama’s campaigns; Democrat Gavin Newsom for governor of California, and Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor of Georgia.
He also endorsed Democrat Richard Cordray for governor of Ohio. Mr. Cordray was head of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Mr. Obama but left the post during President Trump’s first year in office amid a bitter clash over reining in the agency’s powers.
Mr. Obama’s list also includes 22 candidates for the U.S. House but only one for Senate — Jacky Rosen in Nevada. He called it “the first wave” of endorsements, indicating there will be more.
In Pennsylvania, he endorsed Democrat Susan Wild, who is running to replace moderate Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Allentown, who retired.
“I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law,” Mr. Obama said. “But first, they need our votes — and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”
The former president also is delving into state legislative races and contests for state attorneys general.
Former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer commented about Mr. Obama’s list, “He also endorsed Hillary.”
The Republican National Committee pointed out that Democrats suffered huge losses under Mr. Obama at all levels of government.
“No one’s more to blame for how weak today’s Democratic Party is than President Obama,” said RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens. “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.”