Former President Barack Obama announced his support for Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer Monday afternoon. The endorsement comes just five weeks away from November’s general election between Whitmer and Republican candidate Bill Schuette, the attorney general of Michigan.
Obama’s nod to Whitmer is included in his “second wave” of endorsements in the 2018 midterm elections, and part of a concerted Democrat push to retake the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and key gubernatorial races. In the latest polls collected last week by RealClearPolitics, Whitmer leads the race by an average of 10 points.
“Today, I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something—to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor, and compassion to public service,” Obama tweeted.
Comments posted on Whitmer’s campaign website also cite the candidate’s work to cover Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act as a state senator, and campaign platforms on road repairs and replacing lead pipes in Flint..
“That’s exactly the kind of leadership Michigan needs in the governor’s office right now,” the statement reads.
The former president endorsed several other candidates in both national and local races including Haley Stevens in the 11th Congressional District and Elissa Slotkin in the 8th Congressional District. Whitmer, who stumped with former vice president Joe Biden in September, welcomed the endorsement.
Schuette is a longstanding supporter of President Donald Trump, and touted the president’s endorsement last September.