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Los Angeles Times - Christine Mai-Duc

President Obama has thrown his support behind three Democratic candidates running in races the party is targeting for the California Assembly. 

Obama endorsed the following Democratic challengers, according to the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee:

  • Cheryl Cook Kallio, challenging Assemblywoman Catherine Baker (R-San Ramon) in Assembly District 16
  • Abigail Medina, who's running against Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga) in Assembly District 40
  • Al Muratsuchi, a former assemblyman in a rematch against Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) in Assembly District 66

President Obama has plans to endorse as many as 150 down-ballot candidates in 20 states this election, Politico reported this week.

While it's not uncommon for presidents to throw their weight behind federal candidates, it's rare for them to reach down into local races for statehouse seats.

All three races present key opportunities for the Democrats to capture Republican-held seats in their quest to build a super-majority in both houses of the Legislature.

Obama's approval ratings — 60% statewide, according to PPIC survey results released Wednesday — could help boost Democrats in swing districts where he won handily over Mitt Romney in 2012. 

The three California Assembly races combined have attracted more than $8.6 million in spending by state and county parties on both sides.