Huffpost Politics

Maine Rep. Tom Allen Endorses Obama

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Another superdelegate has endorsed Obama this morning: Rep. Tom Allen of Maine. The press release is below.

UPDATE: Two more superdelegates, Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka and Hawaii DNC member Dolly Strazar, have also endorsed Obama today.

UPDATE: Another superdelegate, this one Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark.

Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Tom Allen today pledged his support to Senator Barack Obama. Allen made his announcement during a 10:30 a.m. press conference at his campaign headquarters here.

Allen said he believes that both Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton are "supremely qualified to be president."

"I have been friends for a very long time with former President Clinton and Senator Clinton. I respect their service to our nation. Hillary Clinton has run a vigorous campaign and has attracted a passionate following in Maine and around the country. She loves this country and is a true leader. For her service, I am grateful," he said.

"Most of the primary voters across the nation have now spoken. It is time to bring a graceful end to the primary campaign. We now need to unify the Democratic Party and focus on electing Senator Obama and a working majority in the United States Senate. That is how we can change the direction of the country.

"I am running for the U.S. Senate because I believe Maine should lead the change this country needs. I share important priorities with Barack Obama: universal health care, reining in gas and food prices, greater independence from foreign oil, bringing our troops safely home from Iraq, creating jobs and strengthening the middle class."

Allen said Obama is the embodiment of change for Maine and America.

"In February I watched a new generation of Mainers become involved in our nominating process because they were energized and hopeful about the future. I watched Independents and Democrats - and even a lot of Republicans -- in Maine enthusiastically support Barack Obama because they believe he can and will put America back on track," he said.

Obama won Maine's Democratic caucuses in February. His candidacy helped drive record turnout of some 45,000 participants.

Senator Obama said Maine needs Tom Allen in the U.S. Senate for the change we need. Obama's full statement:

"Tom Allen understands the challenges this country is facing, and no one has worked harder to solve them. He knows that if we're going to bring about the change this country needs, we're going to have to change the way Washington works. That's why he's never been afraid to stand up to the special interests and demand accountability from our leaders.

"Like me, Tom opposed the war in Iraq from the start, and he's been a tireless advocate for ending the war and reshaping our foreign policy to truly make this country safer and more respected. He's fought for tax cuts for the middle class, health care for all, and a return to fiscal responsibility -- something this President and his allies in the Senate seem to have forgotten about completely.

"I've had the opportunity to meet voters from every corner of Maine, and they have spoken with one voice about the need for real change. There's no question that Tom's record of service, his tenacity, and his judgment will make him an excellent Senator. I'm thrilled to be working alongside him in this critical election, and I look forward to working with him as President."