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Obama implores Virginia Democrats to wake up ahead of governor’s race

Obama, in remarks supporting Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, lambasted his opponent Glenn Youngkin, repeatedly mocking the Republican for a disconnect between how he casts himself and what his policies and private comments say about him. The former president also slammed Republicans for looking to curb voting, asking rhetorically, “What are they so afraid…

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Obama implores Virginia Democrats to wake up ahead of governor’s race
Obama, in remarks supporting Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe, lambasted his opponent Glenn Youngkin, repeatedly mocking the Republican for a disconnect between how he casts himself and what his policies and private comments say about him. The former president also slammed Republicans for looking to curb voting, asking rhetorically, “What are they so afraid of?”

“You can’t run ads telling me you are a regular old hoops-playing, dish-washing, fleece-wearing guy, but quietly cultivate support from those who seek to tear down our democracy,” Obama said, hitting Youngkin for the Republican rally earlier this month where organizers pledged allegiance to a flag that was said to be used at the January 6 insurrection. Former President Donald Trump called into the rally, but Youngkin did not appear at the event.

Youngkin, who used to run the Carlyle Group, a large private equity firm, has run a number of ads showing him in casual settings, like playing basketball or doing housework. Obama took a shot at the ads, joking, “Whenever a wealthy person runs for office, they always want to show you what a regular guy they are.”

Obama went on to argue that this disconnect is about more than just standard politics, telling the assembled audience that it shows the Republican candidate either actually “believes in the same conspiracy theories that resulted” in the January 6 insurrection or he “doesn’t believe it but he’s willing to go along with it to say or do anything to get elected.”

“And maybe that is worse,” he added, because that “says something about character. And character will end up showing when you actually are in office.”

And when McAuliffe supporters booed at the mention of Youngkin, Obama turned back to a phrase he has used throughout his political career: “Don’t boo, vote. Booing doesn’t do nothing.”

Why Virginia is the biggest test yet for whether Trump still motivates Democrats

‘We can’t afford to be tired.’

Obama’s appearance in Virginia is aimed squarely at turning out the Democratic base, something the McAuliffe campaign and Democrats throughout the commonwealth have been worried about in the closing weeks of the campaign.

A recent Monmouth University poll highlighted these concerns: 49% of Republican voters surveyed said they were enthusiastic about the race, compared to 26% of Democrats — a 23-percentage point chasm just weeks out from the November 2 election.

Obama looked to turn around those numbers, at least in the Richmond area, a solidly Democratic city in the commonwealth where Obama won nearly 80% of the vote in 2008 and nearly 78% in 2012.

“I know a lot of people are tired politics right now,” Obama said, acknowledging the lack of enthusiasm among Democrats. “Listen, I will make a confession. I never watch political shows. … I understand why people might be tired of politics.”

The former president added: “Here is the thing, we can’t afford to be tired.”

Obama in new McAuliffe ad: 'Virginia, you have a lot of responsibility this year'

The Trump card

While Obama did not directly mention Trump, McAuliffe, who spoke before Obama outside the James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University, did repeatedly.

“Glenn Youngkin is not a reasonable Republican,” McAuliffe said. “I call him Donald Trump in khakis. Do we want a lapdog to Donald Trump to be our governor here in the commonwealth? No we don’t.”

McAuliffe has looked to boost Democratic turnout in the commonwealth by nationalizing the race, comparing Youngkin to Trump at every opportunity.

And he continued this focus on Saturday, arguing that his opponent “has to suck up to Donald Trump all the time” and pledging to “be a brick wall to protect women’s rights” and “never allow politicians like Donald Trump and Glenn Youngkin ever to make abortion illegal here in the commonwealth of Virginia.”

The Richmond rally is the first on Saturday for Obama, who is slated to travel to rally for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who is running for reelection.

Both Democrats have nationalized their races to reelection, hoping to seize on continued anger at Trump in two states that backed Biden in 2020. Obama did just take in an ad he cut for McAuliffe, telling voters they “have a lot of responsibility this year.”

“Not only are you choosing your next governor, but you’re also making a statement about what direction we’re headed in as a country,” Obama says in the ad.

Out of office and off the ballot, Trump's influence still looms
Obama’s appearance also highlights a stark divide in the Virginia race. While McAuliffe has leaned on a stable of top Democratic talent, from Vice President Kamala Harris to Georgia’s Stacey Abrams to President Joe Biden, Youngkin has largely campaigned alone, looking to avoid nationalizing the race in a commonwealth that has rejected Republicans on the statewide level for years.

“I’m on the ballot, I’m running against Terry McAuliffe,” Youngkin told CNN’s Jeff Zeleny this month. “Terry McAuliffe wants anybody but Terry McAuliffe campaigning, he’s inviting the world to come in and campaign with him.”

Trump is the most significant reason for that. The former President lost the state by ten percentage points in 2020 and remains an unpopular figure, especially in vote-rich areas in Northern Virginia. McAuliffe and top Democrats in the state, even without a Trump visit, have used the former president as his primary foil in the race, looking to tie Youngkin to the polarizing Republican at every event.

“Not once, but twice, we have rejected Trump and his anti-science, unhinged, anti-choice rhetoric,” Hala Ayala, the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate, said on Saturday. “But you know what…. (it’s) time for us to do it again.”

And voters in Richmond made clear that Trump was front of mind in their decision to back McAuliffe.

“If we don’t get McAuliffe in the governor’s position and we get Youngkin, I am afraid we are going to have another Trump invasion and this country doesn’t need that,” said Brenda Johnson, a 73-year-old retired educator who was born in Richmond. “Too many of his principles are the same as Trump’s, and we have suffered so terribly behind that administration that I’m afraid for the country.”

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Father charged in shooting death of former UCF football player Otis Anderson Jr.

She said the fatal altercation began when her husband, Otis Anderson Sr., became upset after being bitten by a dog belonging to Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend, according to the incident report released by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. She told detectives that Anderson Jr. came downstairs to see what had happened and got into a verbal altercation with…

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Father charged in shooting death of former UCF football player Otis Anderson Jr.

She said the fatal altercation began when her husband, Otis Anderson Sr., became upset after being bitten by a dog belonging to Anderson Jr.’s girlfriend, according to the incident report released by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

She told detectives that Anderson Jr. came downstairs to see what had happened and got into a verbal altercation with his father. Denise Anderson said she then told her son to go back upstairs and she and her husband got into a verbal fight as well.

Anderson Sr. then flipped a recliner, she said, causing her son to come back down. The two men got into another verbal altercation, and she told detectives it “appeared like they were going to fight,” the report said.

They then went their separate ways, Anderson Sr. heading in the direction of the garage, she said according to the report. Anderson Sr. came back inside and met his son in the kitchen, according to the report.

Officers were dispatched to the residence on Monday evening after someone was reported shot, according to the report. When they arrived, they found Anderson Jr. with a gunshot wound to the chest. A second person, who was identified as Denise Anderson, also suffered multiple graze wounds, according to the incident report.

They were both transported to the University of Florida Health Hospital, where Anderson Jr. was pronounced dead, and Denise Anderson was treated and released, the incident report said.

Otis Anderson Sr. has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, the report said.

According to CNN affiliate WJXT, Anderson Sr. made his first court appearance on Tuesday where a judge denied bond. His next court date is December 22, his inmate records show.

He is currently being held in the Duval County Jail. CNN has attempted to reach the suspect’s attorney for comment.

Correction: This article has been updated with a correct photo of Otis Anderson Jr., who was incorrectly identified by Getty Images in a previously published photo.

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At least 4 killed in shooting at Michigan high school

Oakland County, Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard provided updates on the condition of the victims from the Oxford High School shooting. “The 17-year-old fourth victim passed today at McLaren Hospital shortly after 10 a.m., as our fourth decedent to die from gunshot wounds in Tuesday’s senseless shooting,” Bouchard told reporters during a news conference. Bouchard also updated reporters on the…

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At least 4 killed in shooting at Michigan high school

Oakland County, Michigan, Sheriff Michael Bouchard provided updates on the condition of the victims from the Oxford High School shooting.

“The 17-year-old fourth victim passed today at McLaren Hospital shortly after 10 a.m., as our fourth decedent to die from gunshot wounds in Tuesday’s senseless shooting,” Bouchard told reporters during a news conference.

Bouchard also updated reporters on the condition of the seven people who were injured during the shooting.

“Six students, one teacher, four remain hospitalized, three have now been treated and released,” Bouchard said.

“A 14-year-old male remains in serious condition with… gunshot wounds to the jaw and hand. A 17-year-old female with neck wounds. She is at the local area McLaren Hospital,” the sheriff said.

He continued, “a 14-year-old female has improved, thankfully, I would say no small part to great medical care, emergency responders, fire service, and prayers.”

That 14-year-old female victim “has been removed from critical to stable with gunshot wounds to the left chest and neck. She’s at Hurley Medical in Flint,” Bouchard added.

A 17-year-old female “still remains in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest,” Bouchard said. “So still looking for prayers and support for her and her family.”

Three of the injured have now been discharged, including a 15-year-old male who had a wound to the left leg, a 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound to the hip and a 47-year-old female teacher, who suffered a gunshot wound to her left shoulder, the sheriff said.

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City Councilman Andre Dickens will become Atlanta’s next mayor, CNN projects

Dickens and Moore had advanced to the runoff after no candidate in a wide field received a majority of the vote earlier this month. The sitting mayor, Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms, had announced in May she would not seek reelection. Leading up to Tuesday, polls suggested the contest was close with a large swath of…

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City Councilman Andre Dickens will become Atlanta’s next mayor, CNN projects
Dickens and Moore had advanced to the runoff after no candidate in a wide field received a majority of the vote earlier this month. The sitting mayor, Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms, had announced in May she would not seek reelection.

Leading up to Tuesday, polls suggested the contest was close with a large swath of the electorate still undecided.

Dickens, a former businessman and nonprofit leader, has served on Atlanta’s City Council since 2013.

In a race that focused on a recent spike in violent crime as well as controversy over an effort by the residents of the wealthy community of Buckhead to break off from the capital and create their own city, Dickens — who previously served as the chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee — laid out a public safety plan that prioritized community policing and boosting police resources.

Dickens’ proposal calls for increasing the police force by 250 officers during his first year in office while requiring new training for every police department employee on de-escalation techniques and racial sensitivity.

Ahead of the November 2 general election, shooting incidents had increased dramatically from 406 at that point in 2019 to 629 this year, according to an October 23 report from the Atlanta Police Department.

When Dickens takes office, he also faces concerns about low morale at the Atlanta Police Department and the number of officers who departed the force since June 2020. Tensions were high after Bottoms called for the firing of the officer who shot Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in June of 2020. Bottoms said she had asked the officer be let go from the force one day after the deadly shooting, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported at the time.

Though much of their rhetoric on the need for a safer Atlanta was similar, Dickens took a different approach than his opponent with regard to how he would handle policing in the city.

While Moore suggested removing Police Chief Rodney Bryant from his position, Dickens said he would not immediately replace Bryant and instead would give Bryant 100 days to improve the department.

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