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U.S. House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) (2nd L) speaks as President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Dan Gross, and Andre Duncan (3rd L), nephew of Myra Thompson, one of the victims of the June 17 shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., listen during a news conference July 8, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong--Getty Images)
Alex Wong—Getty Images

Hillary Clinton picked up a key endorsement Friday from South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking black representative in Congress.

“I learned a long time ago that Hillary Clinton is a fighter and that’s what we need in our next president,” Clyburn told a crowd at Allen University in Columbia, S.C. “I want to do everything I can to help Hillary Clinton crack the ultimate glass ceiling.”

The key endorsement comes just a little more than a week before South Carolina voters head to the polls for the Democratic primary, and could sway black voters, a crucial demographic for both Clinton and Bernie Sanders. After Clinton barely won Iowa and Sanders won a landslide in a mostly white New Hampshire, both candidates are aiming to prove they can win minority votes in Nevada and South Carolina.

Rep. Clyburn said that in his 24 years in Congress, he’s worked with both Clinton and Sanders, and have had “pleasant and enjoyable” experiences working with both. But his mind is made up.

“I believe that the future of the Democratic Party and the United States of America will be best served with the experiences and know-how of Hillary Clinton.”

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