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Obama to hit campaign trail in Ohio, California

Obama to hit campaign trail in Ohio, California
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Former President Obama will make his first campaign appearances of the 2018 midterm cycle in the coming weeks as he travels to Ohio and California to back Democratic candidates attempting to unseat Republican incumbents.

The New York Times reports that Obama will appear alongside seven Orange County, Calif., Democrats who are challenging Republicans in districts where Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCongress won't end the wars, so states must Democrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit MORE successfully topped President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE in the 2016 presidential election.

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The former president will also appear alongside Ohio gubernatorial nominee Richard CordrayRichard Adams CordrayOn The Money: McConnell rules out GOP support for Biden families plan | How COVID-19 relief bills may affect your taxes | Is the US heading for a housing bubble? Biden taps ex-consumer bureau chief to oversee student loans Senate Democrats take aim at 'true lender' interest rate rule MORE, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as Cordray seeks the seat currently held by term-limited Gov. John Kasich (R).

A spokeswoman for Obama's office told the Times that Obama would be active “in local, down-ballot races to build the Democratic Party’s bench.”

"This moment in our country is too perilous for Democratic voters to sit out," Katie Hill added to the Times.

The spokeswoman added in an email to The Hill that Obama is scheduled to appear in Orange County on Saturday and added that the former president plans to campaign in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania ahead of the midterms.

Democrats need to pick up 23 House seats and two Senate seats to retake both chambers of Congress in November, while the party also faces a disadvantage in statehouses nationwide.

The Senate is a long shot for the party as they try to pick up the two seats while defending 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.

Some centrist Democrats, including Montana Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Democratic fissures start to show after Biden's first 100 days Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster MORE (Mont.) and Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (N.D.), have said that they do not expect and have not asked for Obama's support.

“We’re not going to use any surrogates. Surrogates are fine but we don’t need them. The race is myself and Matt Rosendale and that’s the way we want to keep it,” Tester told The Hill this week, referring to his GOP challenger.

“He threatened to campaign against me once, so I don’t think he’s coming out there,” added Heitkamp.