President Barack Obama today endorsed Democrats Andrew Gillum for governor, Sen. Bill Nelson for a fourth Senate term and Lauren Baer for a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast U.S. House seat as part of a nationwide list of endorsements.
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Obama endorsed a total of 19 Florida candidates in competitive races from state House to Congress to the high-profile contests for Senate and governor.
Noticeably absent from Obama’s list: Donna Shalala, the former Health and Human Services secretary and University of Miami president who’s running for the open Miami congressional seat of retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Ros-Lehtinen’s district voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has been regarded as a top Democratic pickup opportunity, but many Democrats have been underwhelmed by Shalala’s campaign against Republican Maria Elvira Salazar.
Obama also declined to weigh in on Florida’s statewide races for attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner.
Baer, who is challenging freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is the only Palm Beach County candidate on the list.