Northeast Philly just went national.
Matt Darragh, the Democratic candidate in the race for Northeast Philadelphia’s 170th house district, just received an endorsement from President Barack Obama.
"I sought the endorsement of Barack Obama because this election is not just about me, it is about standing up to the extreme Republican agenda,” Darragh said in a statement. “I am honored and humbled to be endorsed by a sitting President and someone I have supported and admired my entire adult life."
The campaign hailed the move as “unprecedented” – although that’s a bit of a stretch.
In fact, Politico reported that the president has engaged in a deliberate strategy of boosting down-ballot state races: Obama dropped nearly 150 such endorsements last week alone.
Nevertheless, the high-profile name-check could draw more attention to a race that has quietly grown more fractious – and more competitive – as Democrats have poured money into the effort to knock out incumbent Republican state Rep. Martina White.
White won the seat in a contested special election and has drawn progressive barbs for her statements about immigrants and her sometimes indelicate handling of critics. A rare GOP elected official in a mostly Democratic city, White has seemingly been painted with a bigger bullseye than John Taylor, the city’s only other Republican general assembly member.
Both campaigns have gone negative, to say the least. Darragh, an auditor general employee with ties to Lt. Gov. Mike Stack – who has long sought to influence control of the district – has used glossy mailers to paint White as a lifelong renter who has “never paid property taxes.” Republicans have stepped in with their own ads which seem to not-so-subtly depict the Democrat as a drunk and a liar.