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Carolyn Long endorsed by Barack Obama

By Katy Sword, Columbian politics reporter
Published: October 1, 2018, 11:55am

Carolyn Long, a Democrat running for the 3rd Congressional District seat, has earned a high-profile endorsement from former President Barack Obama.

Obama announced a second round of endorsements for the 2018 midterm election Monday, that included Long and fellow Washington Democrats Lisa Brown and Kim Schrier, running in the 5th and 8th districts, respectively. Long is seeking to unseat Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground.

“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 tweeted. “They deserve your vote.”

Long said she’s deeply grateful for Obama’s support.

“I’ve long been an admirer of his collaborative approach to politics and how he consistently worked to reverse the disturbing trend of growing polarization in our national political debate,” Long said in a statement. “His tireless efforts to include Congressional Republicans in the drafting of the (Affordable Care Act), including the Blair House summit with Speaker Boehner, typifies the kind of leadership we need going forward, and I will be proud to defend his legacy of expanding access to health care for more than 20 million Americans once I get to Congress.”

Long said Obama’s support was a surprise because she’s spent more time focusing on running a strong race locally.

“I want voters to know that my priority is representing the needs of families in Southwest Washington, not toeing the national party line,” she said. “I think that being accountable to voters in person is a key part of the dignity and honor of public service that (former) President Obama talked about in his endorsement, and I’m proud he’s chosen to support our campaign.”

Ideally, Obama’s recognition will resonate with voters because he highlighted values Long has made central to her campaign — access to affordable health care, protecting earned benefit programs and addressing prescription drug costs — she added.

Long also received the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign on Monday and picked up Gov. Jay Inslee’s nod Sunday.

“Carolyn’s decades of service to her community as an educator and experience fostering civil, productive debate on big issues we face as a nation make her uniquely qualified to represent the people for Southwest Washington,” Inslee said. “I know Carolyn will work with both parties to get the federal resources Southwest Washington needs to rebuild its aging infrastructure and to bring more high-wage jobs to the district.”

Herrera Beutler’s campaign spokeswoman Angeline Riesterer said that because Obama is endorsing most Democrats seeking office in 2018, the news isn’t a surprise.

“We’ll take our endorsements from Southwest Washington’s farmers and small business owners any day,” Riesterer said. She cited recent awards from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Long added that endorsements are about values.

“For example, End Citizens United has endorsed my campaign because I refuse to take corporate PAC money and will champion campaign finance reform in Congress,” she said.

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Columbian politics reporter