Donnelly announces support for Obama

(from the South Bend Tribune)

Donnelly backs Obama
Congressman cites presidential candidate’s appeal for change, hope for future

By JEFF PARROTT
Tribune Staff Writer

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly today joined a recent wave of superdelegates who have announced their support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Donnelly made the announcement in a news release and was not immediately available for comment because he was flying back to Washington, said his press secretary, Samantha Slater. She declined to answer questions about the endorsement, saying that Donnelly planned to speak with a Tribune reporter later today.

The Illinois senator has picked up 26 superdelegates in the past week, according to the Associated Press. At that pace, he will reach the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination — 2,025 — in the next three weeks, when delegates from the remaining primaries are included.

Obama on Monday passed Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in superdelegates, and he already had led her in overall delegates and the popular vote.

Donnelly had said he wanted to wait at least until Hoosiers voted in the May 6 primary before announcing his decision. Clinton narrowly won Indiana’s popular vote. In the 11 counties that make up Donnelly’s 2nd District, Clinton also won by a slim margin: 87,185 votes to 85,218. However, an exact tally of the district’s voters was not immediately available because the district boundaries do not follow county lines.

Obama did win the district’s most populous county, St. Joseph, taking 33,227 votes to Clinton’s 30,062.

“Senator Clinton is a tenacious fighter for the American people, and particularly for working families, but I believe Barack Obama is the president that we need at this moment in history,” Donnelly said in his statement. “He has helped engage over 3 million new voters, tapped into the American people’s powerful desire for change, and pointed the way toward a more hopeful future for our country.”

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