05/25/2012 04:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Howard Dean Endorses Lori Saldaña in Must-Watch Congressional Race

2012-05-24-lorianddeanGovernor Howard Dean, former Presidential candidate and past head of the Democratic National Committee, was in San Diego this past Tuesday to throw his support behind Lori Saldaña in her run for Congress in California's 52nd district.

Saldaña, the Democratic frontrunner in a campaign to unseat GOP incumbent Brian Bilbray, has been gaining increasing national attention and support in this important red-to-blue district that will be key in regaining a majority in the House of Representatives. Saldaña is a former California Assembly member with a 100% voting record from the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, and Equality California. You can learn more about Lori Saldaña over at her campaign website.

At the fundraiser Gov. Dean announced that Democracy for America, the million-plus member political organization he founded, is also endorsing Lori. They join a long list of prominent progressive national endorsements including MoveOn, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the National Organization for Women, and the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.

Check out some of the local news coverage of the packed fundraiser.

Here's what Gov. Dean had to say about his support of Lori:

"I got to know Lori when she was running for the Assembly...and nobody thought she had any shot of winning that race at all. She was struggling to raise money, because it's always hard for grassroots candidates, who actually care about people, to raise money...and she won! She won by going around and knocking on practically every door in her district. More than once! That's how you win races. And when Lori went to Sacramento, she didn't forget the people back here. And when she goes to Washington, she won't forget the people in this room!"

Gov. Dean's support of Lori Saldaña goes back to her 2004 Assembly race when she was named one of the 'Dean Dozen,' a group of twelve progressive Democratic candidates endorsed by Dean's group "Democracy for America" that also included Barack Obama in his successful bid for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois.

Gov. Dean concluded his remarks by saying, "We've got to elect this woman because we've got to get the United States back on the track it needs to be on. But we can only do it if we elect people like Lori."