Former President Barack Obama endorses Rita Hart, other Iowa Democrats

In his first wave of 2020 endorsements, Barack Obama includes Rita Hart in his support for Iowa Democrats.


Katie Goodale

Rita Hart, Democratic candidate for Iowa's Second Congressional District, speaks to supporters at Yotopia in Iowa City on Sunday.

Lauren White, Politics Reporter

Former President Barack Obama endorsed Rita Hart, the Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, along with other Democrats running in Iowa and other states on Monday through his social media. 

“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats,” Obama tweeted. 

The other Iowa Democrats who received endorsements include Theresa Greenfield, Abby Finkenauer, and Cindy Axne. The only Iowa Democratic running for a Congressional seat not endorsed in Obama’s first wave is J.D. Scholten. 

“Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system and fighting for the good of all Americans,” Obama said in an article on Medium

Hart responded to Obama’s tweet, saying that she is proud to have received an endorsement from him. With three months until election day, Hart said her race is tied and she is in need of support. 

In a poll by Harper polling in the end of July, Hart and Republican opponent Mariannette Miller Meeks were tied with 41 percent of support each.

In October 2019, Miller-Meeks gained the support and endorsement of Terry Branstad, former Iowa governor and current ambassador to China, along with his son Eric Branstad. Miller-Meeks has also received endorsements from the Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and current Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst. 

In addition to sharing his support for U.S. Democrats, Obama encouraged early voting. 

“They make me optimistic not just for our party’s chances in November, but about our country’s future long after that,” Obama said. “So if you’re in one of their districts or states, make sure you vote for them this fall. And if you can vote early, by mail or in person.”

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