CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton visits a South Carolina Strong nonprofit facility for former felons in North Charleston, S.C., on Feb. 24, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he backs Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination over his colleague, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“Hillary Clinton has spent decades fighting for middle class Americans and standing up for our nation’s values at home and abroad. She is the right person to be the first woman president of the United States, and she is the best person to lead our country," Reid said in a statement.

He cited her "proven record of accomplishment" and said she would be able to "fight partisan Republican gridlock and get things done for the American people."

Reid is expected to campaign for Clinton, although no plans were announced Wednesday.

"Proud to have Senator Reid on this team," Clinton tweeted Wednesday, over the image of a smiling Reid.


Reid first announced his endorsement on CNN. It came four days after Clinton won the Democratic caucus vote in Reid's native Nevada. He had remained publicly neutral ahead of the caucus vote.

Reid said he wants to see Democrats unite behind Clinton.

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

"I think that my work with her over the years has been something that I have looked upon with awe. She was the first lady. She started the trend toward looking to do something about health care. She understood the issue well; she was the front on the health care during that administration," he said.