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Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver

Biden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE has thrown his support behind progressive congressional candidate Julie Oliver in her race for a House seat in central Texas.

Oliver is challenging Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsBiden endorses Texas Democratic House candidate Julie Oliver Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Yoho apologizes for accosting AOC MORE (R-Texas) in the state's 25th District, one of several that Democrats are working to flip this year. In a statement first published by The Hill, Biden highlighted Oliver's working-class background and focus on health care.

"Julie understands the struggle working families face every day," Biden said. "She’s overcome poverty, homelessness and raised a son with a preexisting condition. She's a champion for her community, fighting for affordable health care, housing, education, and good jobs in the clean economy. I’m proud to endorse Julie because we need leaders like her fighting for working families in Congress."

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Oliver told The Hill she was grateful for Biden's endorsement, calling him "a relentless advocate for the working people of this country."

“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the next president of the United States, Joe Biden," she said. "The people of Texas’s 25th district are ready for leadership that fights for them, and I’m glad to have Vice President Biden by my side in that fight.”

Democrats are increasingly focusing on Texas as they seek to gin up support among voters there heading into the Nov. 3 elections. Biden and former President Obama have endorsed MJ Hegar in her Senate bid against incumbent Sen. John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers pressure leaders to reach COVID-19 relief deal The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine Biden brushes off criticism of budget nominee MORE (R).

Oliver is facing off against Williams for the second time this November for a chance to represent a district that stretches between Austin and Fort Worth. Oliver lost to Williams by 8.7 points in 2018, a smaller margin than Williams's 21-point victory against Democrat Kathi Thomas in 2016.

Additionally, Oliver outraised Williams in the third fundraising quarter, bringing in more than $900,000. Recent internal polling from the Oliver campaign shows Oliver down 2 points against Williams, well within the margin of error. 

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However, the Democrat still faces an uphill climb against the four-term incumbent. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as "likely Republican." 

The seat is among several that Texas Democrats are hoping to flip in November after six Republican incumbents announced that they would not seek reelection this year. 

The party has also taken aim at incumbent GOP Reps. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyMcCarthy woos Freedom Caucus with eye on Speakership The Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas MORE in the 21st District, Van TaylorVan TaylorVan Taylor wins reelection to Texas seat held by GOP since 1968 Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage Biden pushes into Trump territory MORE in the 3rd District and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulOvernight Defense: Pentagon prepping for Trump order to draw down in Afghanistan, Iraq | Questions swirl after DOD purge | 10th service member killed by COVID-19 Former VOA producer sues US global media agency over termination Record number of women to serve in the next Congress MORE in the 10th District. 

Oliver has the support of a number of progressive leaders including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks Sanders says he can't support bipartisan COVID-19 relief proposal in its current form Progressives push for direct payments to be included in COVID-19 relief deal MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCan Biden find a third way between Trumpism and Obama-era globalism? Left seeks to influence Biden picks while signaling unity Schwarzenegger says he would 'absolutely' help Biden administration MORE (D-Mass.). She is also a vocal proponent of "Medicare for All," though Biden has not backed such a plan.

Biden's endorsement follows his backing of other congressional candidates recently in Texas including Gina Ortiz Jones in the 23rd District, Sri Preston Kulkarni in the 22nd District, Candace Valenzuela in the 24th District and Wendy Davis in the 21st District.