Aug 1, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Meet the 81 candidates Obama is endorsing in 2018


Photo: Yana Paskova/Getty Images

President Obama released a list of 81 candidates he's endorsing ahead of the 2018 midterm election.

Why it matters: Obama is the left's answer to President Trump's continued presence in the primaries. Not only will Obama announce another round of endorsements before Nov. 6, but he also plans to campaign in several of these states throughout the fall.

What they're saying: Obama is promoting "leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent," he said in the announcement email.

  • "This fall, President Obama 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."

What to watch: The races in which Obama and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) overlap, like OH-01 and IL-14 among others. Also keep an eye on the gubernatorial candidates he's endorsed, particularly in places like Georgia where Trump has gotten involved for the Republican.

  • There are a number of black women running for office this year who are notably missing from this list, but a handful of them are challenging incumbent Democrats or are running in safely blue districts. A quick scan through the endorsements suggests that Obama isn't endorsing any Democratic candidate who is a primary challenger to an incumbent Democrat.


  • Gavin Newsom (Governor)
  • Eleni Kounalakis (Lt. Governor)
  • Josh Harder (U.S. House, CA-10)
  • TJ Cox (U.S. House, CA-21)
  • Katie Hill (U.S. House, CA-25)
  • Katie Porter (U.S. House, CA-45)
  • Harley Rouda (U.S. House, CA-48)
  • Mike Levin (U.S. House, CA-49)
  • Ammar Campa-Najjar (U.S. House, CA-50)
  • Buffy Wicks (State Assembly, District 15)


  • Jared Polis (Governor)
  • Dianne Primavera (Lt. Governor)
  • Phil Weiser (Attorney General)
  • Jena Griswold (Secretary of State)
  • Tammy Story (State Senate, District 16)
  • Jessie Danielson (State Senate, District 20)
  • Brittany Pettersen (State Senate, District 22)
  • Faith Winter (State Senate, District 24)
  • Dylan Roberts (State House, District 26)
  • Dafna Michaelson Jenet (State House, District 30)
  • Shannon Bird (State House, District 35)
  • Rochelle Galindo (State House, District 50)
  • Julie McCluskie (State House, District 61)


  • Stacey Abrams (Governor)
  • Sarah Riggs Amico (Lt. Governor)
  • Matthew Wilson (State House, District 80)
  • Shelly Hutchinson (State House, District 107)


  • J.B. Pritzker (Governor)
  • Juliana Stratton (Lt. Governor)
  • Kwame Raoul (Attorney General)
  • Sean Casten (U.S. House, IL-6)
  • Brendan Kelly (U.S. House, IL-12)
  • Lauren Underwood (U.S. House, IL-14)


  • Deidre DeJear (Secretary of State)
  • Tim Gannon (Secretary of Agriculture)
  • Kristin Sunde (State House, District 42)
  • Jennifer Konfrst (State House, District 43)
  • Eric Gjerde (State House, District 67)
  • Laura Liegois (State House, District 91)


  • Louis Luchini (State Senate, District 7)
  • Laura Fortman (State Senate, District 13)
  • Linda Sanborn (State Senate, District 30)


  • Jacky Rosen (U.S. Senate)
  • Susie Lee (U.S. House, NV-3)
  • Steven Horsford (U.S. House, NV-4)

New Jersey:

  • Andy Kim (U.S. House, NJ-3)
  • Tom Malinowski (U.S. House, NJ-7)

New Mexico:

  • Debra Haaland (U.S. House, NM-1)
  • Daymon Ely (State House, District 23)
  • Natalie Figueroa (State House, District 30)

New York:

  • Antonio Delgado (U.S. House, NY-19)
  • Anna Kaplan (State Senate, District 7)

North Carolina:

  • Wiley Nickel (State Senate, District 16)
  • Ron Wesson (State House, District 1)
  • Terence Everitt (State House, District 35)
  • Julie Von Haefen (State House, District 36)
  • Sydney Batch (State House, District 37)
  • Rachel Hunt (State House, District 103)


  • Richard Cordray (Governor)
  • Betty Sutton (Lt. Governor)
  • Steve Dettelbach (Attorney General)
  • Kathleen Clyde (Secretary of State)
  • Zack Space (Auditor)
  • Aftab Pureval (U.S. House, OH-1)
  • Jill Schiller (U.S. House, OH-2)
  • Phil Robinson (State House, District 6)
  • Stephanie Howse (State House, District 11)
  • Mary Lightbody (State House, District 19)
  • Beth Liston (State House, District 21)
  • Allison Russo (State House, District 24)
  • Erica Crawley (State House, District 26) 
  • Tavia Galonski (State House, District 35)
  • Casey Weinstein (State House, District 37)
  • Taylor Sappington (State House, District 94)


  • Madeleine Dean (U.S. House, PA-4)
  • Susan Wild (U.S. House, PA-7)
  • Tina Davis (State Senate, District 6)
  • Liz Hanbidge (State House, District 61)
  • Carolyn Comitta (State House, District 156)


  • Adrienne Bell (U.S. House, TX-14)
  • Colin Allred (U.S. House, TX-32)
Go deeper