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Barack Obama’s Endorsements Leave Out Every Woman Veteran Running for Congress

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and former president Barack Obama.
Saul Loeb, Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed 81 Democrats in 13 states around the country — yet snubbed women who are military veterans running in the 2018 midterm elections.

Five of the 15 military veterans on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) Red to Blue list are women, including former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill running in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district.

Former fighter pilot Amy McGrath, who clinched the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th congressional district in May, failed to make the list of Obama-backed candidates. McGrath joined a surge of women and military veteran candidates running as part of a Democratic strategy for challenging Republican control of Congress this year. Her win sets up a high-profile fall campaign against U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in the 6th District, which Republican Donald Trump carried in 2016. Democrats see it as their best chance to gain a seat in the Bluegrass State.

Gina Ortiz Jones, a Filipina-American and former Air Force intelligence officer facing Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), was also snubbed by Obama.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Obama says he’s publicly supporting candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate but also for state legislature. They include better-known names, as well as rising figures.

Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), elected to the U.S. House in 2012 as the first female combat veterans to serve in Congress, did not receive an endorsement from the former president.

Instead, Obama is endorsing Democratic nominee for California governor Gavin Newsom and for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams. He is also endorsing Deirdre DeJear, Iowa’s Democratic candidate for secretary of state and its first African-American nominee for statewide office.

Obama’s moves follow former first lady Michelle Obama’s commitment to help lead When We All Vote, a non-partisan, not-for-profit group working to help register new voters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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