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Obama endorses Beasley in NC Senate Race

Obama endorses Beasley in NC Senate Race

Newslooks- RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)

Former President Barack Obama endorsed North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley on Tuesday in a new campaign ad as Democrats target the Southern swing state as one of the few where they have a strong shot at flipping a seat in the evenly split chamber.

FILE – Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cheri Beasley speaks at a campaign appearance in Durham, N.C., on Aug. 29, 2022. Former President Barack Obama endorsed the North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate in a new campaign ad Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, as Democrats zero in on the southern swing state as one of the few where they could flip a seat in the deadlocked chamber. (AP Photo/Hannah Schoenbaum, File)

North Carolina, which Obama narrowly won in 2008, has one of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests in the midterm elections. Beasley, the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, who has former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. With Republicans projected to make gains in the House in November, Beasley’s race is an essential pickup for Senate Democrats who hope to retain control of at least one chamber.

FILE – Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., addresses a crowd before former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally, April 9, 2022, in Selma, N.C. Budd is leaning into support for abortion restrictions and amity for the former Republican president as Democrats fight for an elusive victory in the Southern swing state. Budd is set to appear alongside Trump, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at a rally in Wilmington, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

As her opponent leans into his Trump ties — a move political analysts say could alienate the moderate and independent voters who often decide elections in swing states — Beasley’s campaign said it plans to spend six figures broadcasting Obama’s endorsement statewide. Beginning Tuesday, the campaign will air a 60-second ad voiced by the former president on social media and a 30-second cut on digital platforms and radio.

FILE – Former President Barack Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2022. Obama is headed to Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin in the final days of the campaign to give a boost to Democrats running for governor, senator and on down the ballot. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

“Cheri works hard, she’s honest and, most importantly, she always puts people first,” Obama says in the 60-second ad. “In the Senate, Cheri will fight to make health care and prescription drugs more affordable and protect our fundamental rights, from the right to vote to a woman’s right to control her own body. This is going to be a close race, and we can’t afford to get it wrong.”

FILE – Democratic North Carolina Senate candidate Cheri Beasley speaks at an election night event hosted by the North Carolina Democratic Party after winning her primary race in Raleigh, N.C., May 17, 2022. Beasley has consistently outraised Republican opponent Ted Budd in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Richard Burr and is benefitting from a recent upswing for her party’s fortunes in the closely divided state. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown, File)

The former president’s support comes two weeks before Election Day, with in-person early voting already underway in North Carolina. He has also cut endorsement ads for Democratic Senate candidates John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Mandela Barnes of Wisconsin.

FILE – Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks during a campaign event at the Steamfitters Technology Center in Harmony, Pa., Oct. 18, 2022. Fetterman is releasing a new doctor’s note saying that he’s recovering well from a May stroke as he vies for Pennsylvania’s pivotal U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

The ad is part of a wider effort to engage and mobilize Black voters in the Tar Heel state, the Beasley campaign told The Associated Press, including church visits and meetings with members of historically Black fraternities and sororities known as “The Divine Nine.”

Obama has not indicated whether he will travel to North Carolina to campaign for Beasley in the final days of the 2022 campaign cycle. He plans to make several stops in other states with competitive senatorial and gubernatorial races this week and next, including a visit to Georgia on Oct. 28, Wisconsin and Michigan on Oct. 29 and Nevada on Nov. 1.

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