From NBC's Mark Murray
For the first time since becoming president, Barack Obama has endorsed a political candidate and is urging his supporters to vote for him.
In an email to supporters in Upstate New York, Obama has asked them to back Democrat Scott Murphy in his race on Tuesday against Republican Jim Tedisco. The two men are vying to fill the congressional seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who replaced Hillary Clinton in the Senate.
"I'm writing to you now because you have the opportunity to make a big impact on my efforts to bring about a lasting economic recovery," Obama writes. "Today I'm announcing my support for Scott Murphy... To restore our economy and build a foundation for lasting prosperity, I'll need Scott's help. This week, Scott needs yours."
Interestingly, Tedisco has embraced the president somewhat in this traditionally GOP-leaning congressional district that Obama narrowly won in November. "Like the president says: In these difficult times, we're not Republicans or Democrats. We're Americans," Tedisco says in one of his ads.