Election 2020

Obama's First Round of Endorsements Doesn't Include Ocasio-Cortez

King Felipe VI of Spain and former President Barack Obama at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid on July 7, 2018. (Almagro/Abaca/Sipa USA via AP Images)

Former President Obama released his first round of midterm endorsements today, and the young Bronx native who defeated 10-term incumbent House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in the June primary is not on the list.

For the state of New York, Obama’s list only includes two races: Antonio Delgado, who is trying to unseat Rep. John Faso (R-N.Y.), and Anna Kaplan, who is challenging a GOP incumbent for a state senate seat that could determine which party is in control.

Not mentioned is former Bernie Sanders organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who ran to the left of Crowley to push him out of office.

In all, Obama picked 81 candidates to endorse from across the country.

“I’m proud to endorse such a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law.”

Obama’s office said his priority this fall is “taking back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and growing the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus.”

Among the endorsements are several people who worked for the Obama administration or on his campaigns, including the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, who is running for governor of Ohio; Lauren Underwood, a former senior advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services who is running against Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.); Andy Kim, a former Obama defense adviser who is challenging Rep. Tom McArthur (R-N.J.); former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski, who is running against Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.); Jill Schiller, who worked in the White House Office of Management and Budget and is running against Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio); Colin Allred, who was a special assistant in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel and is now challenging longtime Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas); and Adrienne Bell, a teacher and field organizer for Obama’s 2012 campaign who is running against Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas).

Obama also made some mainline party endorsements, backing Gavin Newsom for California governor and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) in his gubernatorial bid. He also endorsed former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in her race against Trump-backed Secretary of State Brian Kemp to replace term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal in Georgia.

Obama’s office said he “expects to campaign in several states this fall and to issue a second round of endorsements in advance of Nov. 6.”