Former President Obama on Wednesday issued a statement congratulating Democrats on their midterm election gains.
He lauded the election of female and minority candidates, veterans and young people, and the running of competitive races in deep-red areas.
“The more Americans who vote, the more our elected leaders look like America,” Obama wrote.
Obama added that he and former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaThe Hill’s Morning Report – Treasury, Fed urge more spending, lending to ease COVID-19 wreckage Budowsky: Michelle Obama or Tammy Duckworth for VP Michelle Obama urges class of 2020 to couple protesting with mobilizing, voting MORE “couldn’t be prouder” of alumni from his administration who won races Tuesday night.
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“Even the young candidates across the country who fell short have infused new energy and new blood into our democratic process, and America will be better off for it for a long time to come,” he added.
Democrats are expected to gain about 35 seats and take control of the House, though their gains fell short of the “blue wave” that some were expecting. Republicans expanded their control of the Senate, with two competitive races still being counted as of Wednesday morning.
Voters elected a record-high number of women to the House, as well as a number of minority “firsts” — including the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, the first two Native American women and the first two Muslim women elected.
In his statement, Obama praised high voter turnout and the passage of several progressive ballot measures, including minimum wage increases, Medicaid expansion and voting rights.
The former president, who made several stops for Democrats on the campaign trail, expressed optimism that the country will “return to … honesty, decency, compromise, and standing up for one another,” but cautioned that the fight is not over.
“Our work goes on,” Obama wrote. “The change we need won’t come from one election alone — but it is a start.”