Hillary Clinton issues endorsements in key governor races

Hillary Clinton issues endorsements in key governor races
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrat Katie Porter unseats GOP's Mimi Walters Former Facebook security chief: 'I failed to prepare my employer' on Russian disinformation Rand Paul: Facebook must 'convince conservatives they're not the enemy' MORE on Monday urged her supporters to vote for a number of Democratic gubernatorial candidates campaigning in states currently run by Republican governors.

In her announcement, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee touted the importance of securing offices at the state level during this year’s midterms and highlighted five gubernatorial contenders she’s backing.

"Governors set the tone and direction for their states," Clinton tweeted. "They’re also our last line of defense against some of the Trump administration’s worst policies."

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Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer is the most nationally prominent Democrat Clinton backed on Monday. Whitmer prevailed in a Democratic primary earlier this year and now faces Attorney General Bill Schuette in a bid to replace term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder (R). 

Whitmer, a former state House minority leader, holds an 8.7-point lead in the race, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Clinton endorsed four other candidates on Monday, all of whom currently trail or are neck-and-neck with their Republican opponents in recent polling.

Clinton encouraged voters to support David Garcia (D) in Arizona, where he is running to unseat incumbent Doug Ducey. A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Ducey with a comfortable 14.5 percentage point lead in the race.

Clinton also highlighted Alaska’s Mark BegichMark Peter BegichDem Begich concedes Alaska governor race to Republican Dunleavy Democrats gain governorships in red states GOP braces for potential wipeout in governors' races MORE (D), who is running against Republican Mike Dunleavy. The race was upended last week when incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) announced he would not seek reelection. 

The former secretary of State also cited New Hampshire’s Molly Kelly and Maine’s Janet Mills. While Kelly faces a substantial deficit against Gov. Chris Sununu (R), Mills is in a race that’s too close to call.

Clinton also issued endorsements for 19 candidates in the Run for Something program. 

Run for Something is a progressive group that recruits young candidates to run for down-ballot offices nationwide. 

Clinton has become more prominent on the campaign trail in recent weeks as Democrats aim to retake control of the House and Senate, and pick up state offices in next month's midterms. She appeared in Florida last week in support of gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.