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James Clyburn Backs Clinton Ahead of South Carolina Primary

Clyburn backed Clinton a week before South Carolina's Democratic primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn backed Hillary Clinton on Friday — lending a powerful endorsement in her presidential bid a week before his state's nominating contest.  

"My heart has always been with Hillary Clinton," Clyburn said at a news conference at Allen University in Columbia. "But my head had me in a neutral corner." After talking with his family, Clyburn said, "I have decided to terminate my neutrality and get engaged."  

As a member of the House Democratic leadership and longtime African American leader in the South, his is an important endorsement for Clinton, and notably, one that she didn't secure in 2008. Clyburn remained neutral in the 2008 race, much to the Clintons' chagrin. His support this year is expected to help Clinton solidify her lead among black voters in the Palmetto State's Feb. 27 Democratic primary.  

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Clinton last week .  

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