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Obama Endorses Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Bid For Re-Election

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 28/03/2016 Amanda Terkel
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President Barack Obama on Monday threw his support behind Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who is facing a progressive competitor in her first primary challenge for the seat.

"Debbie has been a strong, progressive leader in Congress and a hardworking, committed Chair of our national Party since I proudly nominated her to the role in 2011," Obama said in a statement Monday morning.

As chair of the Democratic National Committee, Wasserman Schultz has butted heads with progressives over her criticism of the activism among young women, her perceived favoritism toward Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and her general management of the party.  

More recently, she co-sponsored legislation that would gut new rules put forward by the Obama administration intended to rein in predatory payday lending. The activist group Allied Progressive released an ad in Florida this month, hitting the DNC chair for teaming up with Republicans to defeat the policy. 

Wasserman Schultz is running against Tim Canova, a populist law professor who is a sharp critic of big finance and has provided an outlet for progressive frustrations with the DNC chair. 

The Florida Democratic Party recently reversed its decision to deny Canova access to its voter database, a valuable bank of information for candidates. The party had said it was policy to withhold permission for candidates challenging incumbents, but it changed its mind after heavy pressure from progressives in the state. 

Florida is holding its primary elections on Aug. 30. 

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