AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, former President Barack Obama released his first wave of endorsements in the 2020 election.
The wave includes 118 candidates from 17 states. In Texas alone, Obama endorsed more than 20 candidates. Among them were three Democrats that might sound familiar if you've been following Austin-area politics.
Then a Texas state senator, Wendy Davis is most known for her 11-hour filibuster in 2013 against a bill that posed stringent restrictions on abortion. Since then, she also ran for governor against Gov. Greg Abbott.
Now, Davis is running for Congress. According to her campaign page, she hopes to represent the working class, to provide quality education and safety in schools and to protect women's health care.
Davis grew up in the Fort Worth area before attending community college and eventually Texas Christian University. She later earned a degree from Harvard Law School.
A Round Rock native and former public school teacher, James Talarico is currently a state representative.
According to his campaign site, Talarico pledges to strengthen public schools, lower property taxes, serve retirees, grow the economy and jobs, expand health care, encourage gun safety and more.
Talarico attended McNeil High School and earned his bachelor's degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin. He received a master's degree in education policy from Harvard University.
Erin Zwiener is also a local state representative serving Hays and Blanco counties. She takes pride in being a mother, conservationist, author and educator.
Zwiener's website says she is committed to protecting compensation and benefits for educators, investing in renewable energy, maintaining fair legislative districts, fighting for immigrant and LGBTQIA+ rights, expanding Medicaid and protecting reproductive rights.
According to Ballotpedia, Zwiener was born in Irving and now lives in Driftwood. She received her bachelor's degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Montana and a master's degree in creative nonfiction from the University of Arizona.