WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama released his first slate of 2020 candidate endorsements on Monday, inserting his considerable political weight behind 118 candidates up and down the ballot in 17 states. 

Obama endorsed 5 Democratic Senate challengers in a number of of the nation’s most rigorously watched races, these in Colorado, Iowa, Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Collectively, these candidates will help us redeem our nation’s promise by sticking up for working people, restoring fairness and different to our system, and combating for the good of all People — not merely these on the excessive,” Obama talked about in a press launch. 

The Democratic candidates in plenty of high-profile Senate races are notably absent from the document, much like Mark Kelly in Arizona and Steve Bullock in Montana. In Kelly’s case, the earlier astronaut’s main is on Tuesday and Obama’s announcement specified that endorsed candidates hail from states which have already completed these contests.

Bullock, nonetheless, is one amongst plenty of Democratic Senate challengers missing from the document because of they’re working in traditionally purple states — areas the place an endorsement from Obama might not basically help a candidate in a statewide race. The alternative states are Kentucky, Georgia and Texas.

Completely different notable endorsements from the earlier president included dozens of state legislative candidates in Texas, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, all states the place administration of 1 or every of the chambers is being tightly contested this 12 months. The celebration that controls a state’s legislature is sort of assured to have outsize have an effect on over the 2021 redistricting which will observe the 2020 census. 

In accordance with a press launch from his office, Obama chosen candidates “because of their election would advance key goals: worthwhile administration of the U.S. Senate and holding the majority inside the U.S. Residence; electing Democrats who will assist truthful redistricting in 2021; supporting alumni of his campaigns and Administration; and promoting quite a few, rising leaders for this time.”

The endorsements are the latest step in Obama’s rising engagement on the 2020 political battlefield. Given that beginning of June, Obama has raised approximately $24 million at digital fundraisers for his former vp, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. He has moreover filmed spots with Biden which have been broadly shared on social media.

 

Obama will be anticipated to speak on the Democratic Nationwide Convention later this month. Closing week, Obama delivered a stirring eulogy for the late civil rights chief and Georgia congressman John Lewis, by which he referred to as for expanded voting rights. 

“Similtaneously we sit proper right here, there are these in vitality who’re doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and specializing in minorities and school college students with restrictive ID authorized tips … attacking our voting rights with surgical precision,” he talked about. 

See all of Obama’s endorsements here.

WATCH: Obama’s remarks at Rep. John Lewis’s funeral

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