Republican American: Obama endorses 12 state candidates, including Hayes and Lamont

First appeared in the Republican American on 10/01/2018 here.

BY BRUNO MATARAZZO JR. REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Former President Barack Obama endorsed more than a dozen Democratic candidates running for state office on Monday with five weeks to go before the election.

Obama didn’t only endorse candidates on the top of the ticket but also picked a number of candidates running for state senator and representative candidates.

“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 said in a tweet Monday.

More than 200 candidates in 29 states were endorsed by Obama, including Connecticut’s Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont, Susan Bysiewicz, who is running for lieutenant governor, and Jahana Hayes, the candidate for the 5th Congressional District.

In local state races, Obama also endorsed Maria Horn who is a candidate in the 64th House District, and Mary Abrams, who is running in the 13th Senate District.

This was the second wave of endorsements from Obama, who previously endorsed 81 candidates last month.

The endorsement came as a surprise to Horn when she received the informal announcement last week.

There were no applications or forms to fill out, which is typically the case with endorsement requests.

“I got a call on Friday saying this was a possibility and we should prepare for it,” Horn said.

Horn was in her final year of law school at the University of Chicago when Obama was in his first year as a professor, long before Obama served in politics. She never had him as a professor but they met once at a cocktail party.

Horn said she can only speculate as to why Obama picked to endorse Horn and not other candidates in the region.

“Looking at the list of people he endorsed, it seems to clearly have a focus on people who are new to politics. That seems to be part of the equation,” Horn said.

Hayes released a short statement on Monday about Obama’s endorsement. The two met in 2016 when Hayes, of Waterbury, was picked as the country’s teacher of the year.

“President Obama and I share the belief that a brighter future is possible for every American, and we share the belief that elected leaders can make this vision a reality through smart, fair and compassionate policies,” Hayes said. “I’m humbled to receive President Obama’s endorsement and thank him for his support.”

For Lamont, Obama’s endorsement comes seven weeks after Lamont won the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

President Donald Trump was much quicker on the draw, endorsing Republican nominee Bob Stefanowski the morning after he won the five-way Republican primary.

MediaMeghan FlanaganMedia