Strickland endorsed Clinton Friday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the backing Friday from a governor of what is likely to be a key battleground state in the 2008 race for the White House.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced Friday in a conference call with reporters that he is endorsing the New York senator's campaign, calling Clinton an "experienced and strong leader."
"Here in Ohio which is in the heartland of the country, I believe she is the strongest candidate that our party can put forth, and I believe that she is the person that can win the presidency," Strickland also said.
Ohio played a key role in the 2004 presidential race, going to President Bush over then-Democratic nominee John Kerry by a little more than a 100,000 votes – a result that ultimately determined the outcome of the election.
“I don't think that it is likely that either a Democrat or a Republican will be successful without being successful in Ohio," Strickland said Friday. "I feel strongly [Clinton] is the candidate that can speak to the issues important to Ohioans and that she can carry Ohio."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney