Politics & Government

Obama endorses Linda Coleman for Congress, 3 candidates for NC legislature

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Democrat Linda Coleman in her race against Republican Rep. George Holding in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.

Obama made a first round of 81 endorsements in August. That list included six Democrats running for the North Carolina General Assembly. In addition to Coleman, Obama included three Democratic statehouse candidates in his latest round of 260 endorsements. The full list was released Monday.

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Obama is backing John Campbell for the state Senate in District 13, Natasha Marcus for the state Senate in District 41 and Brandon Lofton for the state House in District 104.

Campbell is running against Republican Danny Britt in a district including Columbus and Robeson counties. Marcus is running against incumbent Jeff Tarte in a district in Mecklenburg County’s north and west. Lofton is running against Andy Dulin in southeast Charlotte.

Obama “focused on close races in which his support would make a meaningful difference,” his office said in an email to the news media announcing his endorsements. Obama also focused on races that are “redistricting priorities” or that highlight the diversity or youth of Democrats’ candidates.

“The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we lead with conviction, principle, and bold, new ideas. Our incredible array of candidates up and down the ticket, all across the country, make up a movement of citizens who are younger, more diverse, more female than ever before,” Obama said in a statement.

In September, Obama delivered a campaign speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, urging voters to elect Democrats. It was seen as a criticism of President Donald Trump, his successor in the White House.

“Some of you may think I’m exaggerating when I say this November’s elections are more important than any I can remember in my lifetime. I know politicians say that all the time. I have been guilty of saying it a few times, particularly when I was on the ballot,” Obama said. “But just a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different.”

Coleman, a former Wake County commissioner and state lawmaker, is tied with Holding in several polls. The campaign has attracted outside spending on both sides. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has committed resources to the race, and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Super PAC linked to House Speaker Paul Ryan, recently began airing television ads in support of Holding as part of a $1.4 million investment in the race.

The 2nd district includes all or parts of Franklin, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Wake and Wilson counties.

Brian Murphy: 202.383.6089; Twitter: @MurphinDC