Former President Barack Obama endorses Democrats Andrew Gillum, Stephanie Murphy, Nancy Soderberg, Anna Eskamani

Former President Barack Obama issued a slew of endorsements Monday for Democrats across the country, including state House candidate Anna Eskamani of Orlando, gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy and congressional hopeful Nancy Soderberg.

“Today I’m proud to endorse even more Democratic candidates who aren’t just running against something, but for something — to expand opportunity for all of us and to restore dignity, honor and compassion to public service,” Obama said in a Tweet, which listed candidates from more than two dozen states.

Eskamani, who is in a contentious race against Republican Stockton Reeves for the House District 47 seat encompassing part of Orlando and Winter Park, was the lone Central Florida state House candidate to receive the nod from Obama.

“Our 44th President inspires me each day to be a compassionate and bold leader for our community, and to fight for Florida’s hard-working families,” Eskamani said in a news release.

Gillum and Chris King, his choice for lieutenant governor, topped the list, followed by Nelson, who is in a tough battle for re-election against Gov. Rick Scott.

“Progress is on the ballot. Hope is on the ballot. A brighter future for Florida is on the ballot,” Gillum said in a tweet that said he was honored by the endorsement.

Of Gillum, the tweet quoted Obama praising the mayor’s stance on health care.

“Andrew believes healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and he will make expanding Medicaid a priority on day one as governor,” the tweet reads.

Murphy, who is seeking re-election in of the area’s most contested districts, was first elected in 2016 and faces GOP state Rep. Mike Miller in House District 7, which includes Seminole County and parts of central Orange County.

Soderberg, a former deputy national security advisor under President Bill Clinton, is opposed by Republican retired Army Col. Michael Waltz in House District 6. That seat previously was held by Ron DeSantis, who is running for governor.

By Ryan Gillespie

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