CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin became the latest superdelegate to announce support for Barack Obama for president. Manchin announced his endorsement Friday morning.
Governor Manchin's statement follows:
“I have had the opportunity to speak directly with Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton and they both wanted me to convey to the people of West Virginia how much they sincerely appreciate the support they have consistently received from our state.”
“Sen. Clinton also made it clear that she will be officially announcing her endorsement of the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, Sen. Barack Obama, tomorrow and she encourages all democrats in West Virginia and across the country to do the same, so that we can ensure his victory in November. We all know how vital it is that we make a leadership change in Washington, and we must be unified in our efforts.”
“I have also spoken with Sen. Obama, who first of all wanted to extend his deepest sympathies to those affected by this week’s flooding. I can assure you that he is ready and willing to work closely with all of our state’s democrats, republicans and independents to achieve a victory for all of America in November, and he is definitely looking forward to coming to West Virginia again soon. I have assured him that the people of our state will join him in doing our part to achieve the change that our nation so desperately needs.”
Hillary Clinton won 67% of the vote in West Virginia's May primary. Obama got 26% support.
Governor Manchin said he would withhold his endorsement until after the primary process was completed, but did tell some media outlets that he was inclined to vote with the state. By endorsing Obama, Manchin joins the state's other elected political officials including Senators Jay Rockefeller and Robert Byrd and Representatives Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan. All have votes as superdelegates.
Democratic party officials Marie Prezioso, Pat Maroney and Belinda Biafore have used their superdelegate status to support Clinton.
Nick Casey, the Democrat party chairman, is also endorsing Obama.
Casey says Senator Hillary Clinton's decision to support Obama made his decision a lot easier.
Casey says he wants to endorse the candidate that will get the nominee.
The state's remaining superdelegate vote goes to Alice Germond, an official with the DNC. Reports indicated she would stay neutral until the convention.