Obama Endorses 81 Candidates in 14 States – But Stays Out of Massachusetts Fights

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/08/02/obama-endorses-81-candidates-in-14-states-but-stays-out-of-massachusetts-fights/

Former President Barack Obama is endorsing 81 candidates for office around the country, but none in Massachusetts.

The candidates are running for Congress, governor, and state legislatures. They are all Democrats, and the list includes candidates vying with other Democrats in party primaries.

A New York Times story noted that Obama seemed to favor former members of his administration. The story names six former aides as among the endorsees.

Yet Obama took a pass on the Democratic primary in the Third Congressional District in Massachusetts, which features Rufus Gifford, a former campaign finance director for Obama and former ambassador to Denmark during his administration; and Dan Koh, son of a former assistant secretary of health and human services under Obama. (The crowded field also includes state Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover), who has been drawing the most attention recently.)

The winner of the Democratic primary will take on Rick Green, a Republican from Pepperell who co-founded 1A Auto.

Racial minorities and women are other themes among Obama’s endorsees. But he didn’t back Ayanna Pressley, an African-American Boston city councilor challenging U.S. Representative Michael Capuano (D-Somerville). (A WBUR poll released this morning has her 13 points down, with a little over a month to go until the primary.)

Video game developer Brianna Wu, who is challenging U.S. Representative Steve Lynch (D-South Boston) in the Democratic primary in September, also didn’t draw an endorsement from Obama.

Obama is also staying out of the Massachusetts governor’s race, where former Deval Patrick aide and former health insurance executive Jay Gonzalez and activist Bob Massie are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who leads by more than 30 points in recent polls.

Obama is also staying out of contested Democratic primaries for governor in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

In New Hampshire he is staying out of the First Congressional District race, where nine Democrats are running to replace U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter, a Democrat, in an evenly divided district.

Maine is the only New England state where Obama issued endorsements, all for the state senate. He endorsed the Democratic nominees in three state senate races who are in competitive races with Republicans. (Two of the Republicans are incumbents.)

Republicans in Maine hold an 18-17 majority in the state senate.

Elsewhere, Obama notably did not endorse Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a socialist who won the Democratic nomination for the Fourteenth Congressional District in New York, which includes portions of the New York City boroughs of Queens and the Bronx. Ocasio-Cortez has called for abolishing the federal Immigration and Naturalization Enforcement agency.

Here’s the Obama list of 81: