Subscribe for 99¢
AP-NORC Poll: Democrats most excited by experience in office

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., rallies with people protesting for higher minimum wage outside of McDonald's, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay on Tuesday announced his backing for Sen. Kamala Harris’ bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Kamala has the courage, vision and backbone to fight for equal justice, restore our democracy and unite the American people," Clay, D-University City, said in a statement.

Gaining the backing of Clay and the political organization he leads could be a big advantage for Harris, of California, in Missouri’s presidential primary next year, especially if the field of Democratic candidates remains crowded by that time.

Clay’s endorsement of then-Sen. Barack Obama the year before the 2008 Missouri Democratic primary helped Obama narrowly defeat Hillary Clinton statewide, although Obama and Clinton split the state’s delegates.

Clay in an interview with CNN said while he has a great personal relationship with former Vice-President and Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, Harris “is a transformative figure” like Obama and “has the skill set” to beat President Donald Trump.

Clay is the fourth member of the Congressional Black Caucus to back Harris. CNN said Biden has five endorsements from black caucus members.

Political Fix e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Mark Schlinkmann is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.