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OH-Gov: Barack Obama to headline rally for Dem candidate Richard Cordray

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Former President Barack Obama will campaign for Ohio Democratic gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray at a Sept. 13 rally. (Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama, as he begins to take a more active role in the upcoming midterm elections, will make a stop in Ohio to campaign for the Democratic nominee for governor, according to The New York Times.

The candidate, Richard Cordray, is a former Obama administration official. Cordray was the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a position which has been a frequent target of attacks against Cordray.

Obama will headline a Sept. 13 rally, which will be free and open to the public, but the time and location haven't been announced. Obama won Ohio in 2008 and 2012, while Trump took the state in 2016.

Cordray is running against Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to replace Gov. John Kasich.

What will Obama's impact be?

The reception to Obama's impending activity in the midterms is mixed. The Hill reported that some Democrats in Trump-won states (including Ohio) are welcoming Obama's notable presence.

Still, there are some Democrats who understand that being attached to Obama could do more harm than good, including Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

"He threatened to campaign against me once so I don't think he's coming out here," Heitkamp said.

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana also said he doesn't want "surrogates" like Obama to distract from his campaign strategy.

An anonymous source "familiar with Obama's thinking" acknowledged to The Hill that Obama's presence in some races could actually fire up Republicans in a way that hurts Democratic candidates.

"Trump wants nothing more than a foil," the source said. "[Obama] knows he can activate the other side."

Any help from the Clintons?

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) was  not very enthusiastic about the prospect of the Clintons joining Obama in helping Democrats in midterms.

Schumer told CNN that "we'd consider it" if the Clintons reached out and offered help.

"If [the candidates] think it will help them, they'll invite them," Schumer said. "If they don't think it will help them, they won't invite them."

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