Former President Obama will make his first campaign appearances of the 2018 midterm cycle in the coming weeks as he travels to Ohio and California to back Democratic candidates attempting to unseat Republican incumbents.
The New York Times reports that Obama will appear alongside seven Orange County, Calif., Democrats who are challenging Republicans in districts where Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton successfully topped President Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
The former president will also appear alongside Ohio gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as Cordray seeks the seat currently held by term-limited Gov. John Kasich (R).
A spokeswoman for Obama’s office told the Times that Obama would be active “in local, down-ballot races to build the Democratic Party’s bench.”
“This moment in our country is too perilous for Democratic voters to sit out,” Katie Hill added to the Times.
The spokeswoman added in an email to The Hill that Obama is scheduled to appear in Orange County on Saturday and added that the former president plans to campaign in California, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania ahead of the midterms.
Democrats need to pick up 23 House seats and two Senate seats to retake both chambers of Congress in November, while the party also faces a disadvantage in statehouses nationwide.
The Senate is a long shot for the party as they try to pick up the two seats while defending 10 in states that Trump won in 2016.
Some centrist Democrats, including Montana Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), have said that they do not expect and have not asked for Obama’s support.