By Matt Friedman | January 1st, 2008 - 4:56pm
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U.S. Rep. Donald Payne endorsed Hillary Clinton for President today, becoming the latest member of the state’s Democratic establishment to back the New Jersey frontrunner.

Payne, the first black congressman from New Jersey and a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that he is confident in Clinton’s ability to be president because he’s worked with her while she was First Lady and in her capacity as a senator.

"These serious times call for a leader with Hillary Clinton’s ability to tackle our biggest challenges from her first day in office,” said Payne in a press release. “Her 35-year record fighting for children and families demonstrates the kind of change she will deliver as President.”

Payne joins Democratic Congressmen Rob Andrews, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell and Albio Sires in endorsing Clinton. Steve Rothman supports Barack Obama, while Rush Holt remains uncommitted.

"Donald has devoted his life to serving the people of Newark and New Jersey," said Clinton. "I'm honored to have his support and look forward to rolling up our sleeves together to solve America’s challenges.”

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