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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 Biden 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 WilliamsDemocrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Trump Georgia call divides House GOP 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 BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE 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 CornynOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal 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 RoySome Republicans say proxy voting gives advantage to Democrats House passes sweeping protections for LGBTQ people GOP's Chip Roy vows to fight Equality Act in court MORE in the 21st District, Van TaylorVan TaylorSix ways to visualize a divided America House approves rules package for new Congress House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE in the 3rd District and Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulMcCaul says Trump has responsibility to tell potential Capitol attackers to 'stand down' Threats to Capitol prompt House to cancel Thursday votes Blinken speaks with Ethiopian leader about human rights concerns in Tigray MORE in the 10th District. 

Oliver has the support of a number of progressive leaders including Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersABC names new deputy political director, weekend White House correspondent Ron Johnson forces reading of 628-page Senate coronavirus relief bill on floor GOP pulling out all the stops to delay COVID-19 package MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPhilly city council calls on Biden to 'cancel all student loan debt' in first 100 days Hillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans 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.