Ann Ravel State Senate San Jose Inside

Obama Endorses Ex-FEC Chair Ann Ravel in State Senate Race

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Ann Ravel nabbed the ultimate endorsement this week in her quest to replace soon-to-term-out Sen. Jim Beall in the 15th State Senate District.

On Monday afternoon, former President Barack Obama announced his “first wave” of endorsements for the 2020 general election, with Ravel being the only state candidate on 44’s list of California races.

“I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic and highly qualified Democrats,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post announcing the news. “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—not just those at the top.”

In 2013, Obama named Ravel—a lifelong public servant and former head of the California FPPC—to the Federal Elections Commission, where she served until her abrupt resignation in response to partisan gridlock in 2017.

Ravel told Fly that the endorsement came “out of the blue.”

While she never personally spoke to the president about the endorsement, she said she recently reached out to the Obama Alumni Association, which highlights the work of people who served in the administration.

“He’s so well respected and so well liked by people in the Democratic party that it will be, I think, really helpful for me to show that even in a two Dem race that I have qualities that are much more aligned with the president,” she gushed.

Ravel said the endorsement is especially significant since the former commander-in-chief primarily endorsed candidates for federal races.

“I am particularly thankful and proud of the fact that he obviously went out of this way to make a decision on my behalf,” she added.

Ravel faces Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese in the November election.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

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