Former President Barack Obama, who has remained relatively quiet during the first year-and-a-half of the Trump presidency, on Wednesday unveiled his first list of endorsements in the 2018 midterms.
Among the names on his list are California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (famously the ex-mayor of San Francisco), Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Jared Polis, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and Nevada Democratic Senate candidate Jacky Rosen.
“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,” Obama said in a statement.
“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. But first, they need our votes—and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”
Of the 81 candidates listed, there are a number running in competitive races that could determine the fate of the Congressional majority, as well as some tight state legislative contests.
In California, where Democrats hope to peel off a number of Republican seats, Obama backed Democratic congressional candidates Harley Rouda, Josh Harder, T.J. Cox, Katie Hill, Katie Porter, Mike Levin, and Ammar Campa-Najjar.
The ex-president also made endorsements in congressional races in Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and others.
Noticeably, however, Obama did not make any endorsements in Democratic primaries that have not yet been decided.
According to a release from his office, the former president expects to campaign in several states this fall and issue another round of endorsements before the midterm vote.