Reid endorses Clinton, becomes top-ranking Dem to back the frontrunner

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday announced his endorsement of fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

Reid is now the highest-ranking Democrat to endorse the front-running Clinton, who is trying to fend off Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. CNN first reported the endorsement.

"I think the middle class would be better served by Hillary," Reid said.

Reid, who is retiring as the Senate’s top Democrat, cited Clinton’s experience as first lady, particulary her early efforts to improve America’s health care system.

He did not mention Clinton's work as secretary of state, which has most recently been in the news over her use of a private email server for official communication.

But he said he thinks Clinton is the right person to be the country’s first female president, according to the CNN report.

His endorsement comes after Clinton, also a former U.S. senator from New York, won the caucus vote this past weekend in Reid’s home state of Nevada.

Sanders, who is an Independent in the Senate who aligns with the Democrats, has yet to win an endorsement from any Senate member, while Clinton has the backing of 40 of the upper chamber’s 44 Democrats.

The only other Independent, Maine Sen. Angus King, has yet to make an endorsement. He and Sanders vote, or caucus, with Senate Democrats.