[Ed. – One of his picks is a woman running for Georgia governor whose unique qualifications include being $200,000 in debt, while another is a former rapper known for his obscene lyrics.]
Former U.S. President Barack Obama dipped into November’s midterm election fight for the first time on Wednesday, endorsing 81 Democrats in 14 states with a focus on young, diverse candidates and lower-level races.
Obama, whose relatively low political profile since leaving office last year has frustrated some fellow Democrats, described the list as a first wave of endorsements and said he was eager to campaign this fall to “make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes.”
In a year when the national Democratic Party has emphasized regaining ground at the state level, Obama’s list includes five gubernatorial and 40 state legislative candidates, as well as a candidate for agriculture secretary in Iowa and several candidates for secretary of state and attorney general.
The Democratic candidates for governor backed by Obama were Jared Polis of Colorado, Gavin Newsom of California, Stacey Abrams of Georgia, Richard Cordray of Ohio and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois.