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President Barack Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Barack Obama endorses 13 Democrats running for state House and Senate

President Barack Obama is throwing his support behind more than a dozen Democratic legislative hopefuls.

The Florida Democratic Party announced Friday the president endorsed 13 Democrats running for state House and Senate. The endorsements come just 18 days before the Nov. 8 general election, and are likely meant to boost Democratic turnout.

“No state is more important in this election than Florida, and President Obama’s support reflects his continued commitment to advocating for Democratic principles at all levels of government,” said Senate Democratic Leader Designate Oscar Braynon. “Real change begins at the local level and our candidates reflect the leadership we need to keep our state moving forward.”

The president endorsed Rod Smith in Senate District 8, Linda Stewart in Senate District 13, Bob Buesing in Senate District 18, Jose Javier Rodriguez in Senate District 37, and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in Senate District 39.

In the House, the president endorsed Beth Tuura in House District 47, Rena Frazier in House District 59, Lisa Montelione in House District 63, Ben Diamond in House District 68, Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich in House District 103, Nick Duran in House District 112, Daisy Baez in House District 114, and Robert Asencio in House District 118.

“Our candidates are running strong campaigns built on shared Democratic values in order to continue the incredible progress we have made under President Obama’s leadership,” said House Democratic Leader-designate Janet Cruz in a statement. “With the president’s support, we’re going to win these races and make sure Florida stays blue this November.”

Obama has been lending his support to candidates up and down the ballot, releasing advertisements this week for Rep. Patrick Murphy’s U.S. Senate bid and former Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

According to Gallup, Obama has averaged 54 percent job approval so far this month. Gallup found his approval ratings have averaged above 50 percent from April 20 through July 19. Pollsters noted Obama’s job approval ratings have grown more positive as “voters prepare to elect his successor.”

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