WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a leading Hispanic Democrat, is backing Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, the two senators announced Tuesday.
“While we have many fine and worthy candidates for president, Sen. Clinton stands out with the richness of her experience, the depth of her intelligence and the strength of her ideals," Menendez said. "She is clearly the right leader ready to chart a new course for America, and I look forward to working for her election and to calling her madam president.
Underscoring the importance of the Latino vote, Menendez addressed voters in Spanish as well. And Clinton, who mentioned that campaign manager is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, said she was "proud" to have the support of members of the Latino community.
"I'm very proud that I have such a breadth and depth of support across the country," Clinton said. "And the support from Latino Americans is especially important to me, because these days require us to pull our country together."
Menendez, who will serve as a national co-chair of Clinton's presidential bid, is the second major Latino endorsement the New York Democrat has scored in the last month.
On May 30, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa endorsed Clinton, hailing her as "the only candidate with the ability to hit the ground running on her first day in the White House."
- CNN's Lauren Kornreich and Alexander Mooney