A U.S. lawmaker and civil rights leader who previously supported Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced on Wednesday he will now support her rival, Barack Obama.
Representative John Lewis from Georgia noted that his congressional district overwhelmingly supports Obama. Lewis was a prominent black leader of the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Obama also is African-American and has received majority support from black voters.
Clinton's campaign is hoping wins in critical primaries in Ohio and Texas on March fourth will help her keep pace with Obama, who has 11 straight wins in nominating contests.
The two rivals engaged in a heated debate in Ohio Tuesday on issues including the Iraq war, free trade and healthcare.
Obama said Clinton showed a lack of judgment by voting to authorize the use of force in Iraq, while Clinton criticized Obama for saying as president he would be willing to meet with dictators without preconditions.