Brad Ashford

Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford

WASHINGTON — Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb., is ready for Hillary Clinton.

The Omaha congressman endorsed Clinton on Monday in an exclusive statement to The World-Herald.

Clinton has served as first lady, senator and secretary of state. Ashford said her experience and background are just what the country needs now.

“Her decades of public service have prepared her to lead our nation during these turbulent times,” Ashford said. “We need more than rhetoric; we need a leader who will bring people together to grow our economy, keep promises to our veterans and protect our nation from terrorism.”

Ashford’s endorsement comes ahead of Clinton’s visit to Omaha on Wednesday that will feature a private fundraiser and a public rally.

Clinton is a heavy favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, so it might seem unsurprising that Ashford would back her campaign.

Still, Republicans could well try to leverage the endorsement against Ashford in next year’s House race.

Previously, they cut ads aimed at tying Ashford to national Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama.

Clinton’s “decades of public service” bring with them the scars of many old battles as well as fresher ones stemming from her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

While Obama was able to win Nebraska’s 2nd District in 2008, that was the first time Nebraska had cast an electoral vote for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964. GOP nominee Mitt Romney easily carried the district in 2012.

Nebraska’s Democratic presidential caucus is scheduled for March 5. Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus will be Feb. 1.

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