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 ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE successfully topped President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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: Consumer bureau proposes scrapping borrower safeguards from payday loan rule | Negotiators running out of time to avert shutdown | Trump nominates World Bank critic as its next chief Consumer bureau proposes scrapping borrower safeguards from payday loan rule Supreme Court should do what Congress won’t: Rein in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection 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) TesterHow the border deal came together GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration Border talks stall as another shutdown looms MORE (Mont.) and Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOvernight Energy: Trump taps ex-oil lobbyist Bernhardt to lead Interior | Bernhardt slams Obama officials for agency's ethics issues | Head of major green group steps down Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary On The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction 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.