Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday, August 1, endorsed Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and Democratic Attorney General candidate Kwame Raoul, both of whom are among 81 Democratic candidates from across the country seeking to win seats in federal, state and local offices in the November elections.
For Julianna Stratton, Pritzker’s running mate, this will be her second endorsement from Obama. In 2016, Obama endorsed Stratton in her campaign to unseat State Representative Ken Dunkin in one of the most expensive campaigns for a House seat in Illinois history.
Obama also endorsed Stacey Abrams, who is trying to become Georgia’s first Black female governor.
“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. “I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our al-liances 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.”
Raoul issued the following statement in response to his endorsement by President Barack Obama.
“I sincerely appreciate the endorsement of my predecessor in the Illinois Senate and a great president, Barack Obama. We have lived in the same neighborhood, represented the same communities and worked to address many of the same challenges. His confidence is meaningful to me as I seek to continue my advocacy as Attorney General.”
Obama said he believes America’s long-term challenges can be addressed best “when we all take a more active role in our democracy.”
The endorsements are Obama’s biggest political move yet since he left office in 2017. During his post White House years, the president has been low key in politics while his successor, President Donald Trump criticized him and his policies on immigration, healthcare and Russia.
Obama said he is dedicating his post-Presidency efforts to “identifying and elevating the next generation of leaders.” Obama said this is the first round of endorsements he has granted and he wants to help current and aspiring Democratic leaders establish themselves, build their profiles, and lead their communities.
Obama did not say whether he will grant endorsements for next year’s mayoral elections in Chicago, where his former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is running for a third term. With his damaged reputation in the Black community, political analysts say Obama may stay away from his ally to avoid alienating Blacks.
Obama is expected to campaign in several states this fall and to issue a second round of endorsements in advance of November 6.
Obama aides say the former president will prioritize supporting redistricting targets recommended by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and growing the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus.
This article provided by NewsEdge.