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The Latest: Trump boosts GOP House candidate in California

October 5, 2018

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for a trip to Minnesota to attend a fundraiser, and a campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on former Vice President Joe Biden’s California rally (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump is reiterating his support for a Republican House candidate in a tough race in Southern California.

The president’s campaign issued a statement Thursday in support of Diane Harkey, who battling Democrat Mike Levin in the coastal 49th Congressional District. The seat is held by retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.

The 49th district is closely divided politically, and Issa survived by a mere 1,600 votes when he was re-elected in 2016.

Trump’s campaign said Harkey would be a “great supporter” of his agenda. The president also endorsed Harkey in a tweet in August.

The statement came on the same day former Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning for Democratic House candidates in Orange County.

Democrats are targeting a string of GOP-held House seats in California that Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential race, including the 49th.

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6 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is urging support for Democratic House candidates in California to help “take this president on.”

Biden appeared with five Democratic candidates Thursday seeking to capture Republican-held districts in the state, saying the party must take control of Congress to thwart the agenda of President Donald Trump.

He called it a fight for the soul of the country.

Biden spoke for about 50 minutes at California State University, Fullerton, in Orange County.

Much of the speech was devoted to criticizing the president’s proposals on the environment, health care and education. The potential 2020 presidential candidate said that in the world’s wealthiest nation, education “ought to be free for everybody.”

The party needs to flip control of 23 seats to take the U.S. House.

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