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Former U.S. President Barack Obama campaigns in support of Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, Democratic candidate for governor, at a rally with supporters in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Obama gives midterm endorsements to 81 candidates in 13 states

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Barack Obama is making good on his promise to use his political cache in the 2018 midterm elections. He’s endorsing 81 Democrats up and down the ballot in 13 states around the country, with an emphasis on younger, diverse candidates.

In a statement, 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.

READ MORE: Have Democrats improved their chances of winning back the House?

He’s endorsing Democratic nominee for California governor Gavin Newsom and for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams. He’s 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.

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