Democratic Florida State Sen. Darren Soto has received the endorsement of President Barack Obama for Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

Soto faces Republican nominee Wayne Liebnitzky in CD 9, which covers southern Orange County, Osceola County, and eastern Polk County.

“Darren will be the kind of progressive leader we need to build on all of the progress we’ve made over the last eight years to create a stronger, safer, fairer country for our children,” Obama said in a statement released by Soto’s campaign.

“Darren is a fighter for Florida’s working families, and will fight for a level playing field so that everyone has a shot at the American dream. In Congress, I know that Darren will stand up and fight to raise the minimum wage, end the influence of secret money in politics, address the climate change crisis, and enact reforms to end the cycle of senseless gun violence in our country,” Obama continued.

Soto was one of Obama’s warm-up speakers Sunday before 11,000 people in Osceola County Heritage Park Stadium in Kissimmee, as the president campaigned for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“President Barack Obama has been a hero of mine for many years as he leads our country with vision, inspiration and class,” Soto stated. “It was an honor to introduce him yesterday at our Osceola rally and it is a dream to have his endorsement! I hope to emulate his amazing example during my service in Congress.”

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