Barack Obama is picking up the endorsement of a former rival in his bid to become the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says he's backing Obama, who he says can unite the nation and restore America's moral leadership in the world. Richardson says Obama is, quote, a "once-in-a-lifetime" leader.
The governor plans to campaign with Obama today in Portland, Oregon.
Richardson is the nation's only Hispanic governor and his endorsement comes at a crucial time in the Democratic race. Obama leads in the delegate hunt but polls show rival Hillary Clinton pulling ahead. She's also been beating him among Hispanic voters and Richardson's support could help Obama there.
Obama has issued a statement saying he's "deeply honored" to have Richardson's support.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)