(CNN) – Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, became the latest member of the high-profile clan to weigh in on the presidential race Saturday, announcing her support for Democrat Barack Obama.
In a statement released by the campaign, she compared Obama to her late husband. “Over these past few years, I’ve watched Sen. Obama inspire Americans from all walks of life to believe in real change and a new sense of hope and possibility. He’s a magnetic force, drawing the nation together for the common good and galvanizing us all to help shape our country’s future.
“Barack is so like Bobby, who struggled for the rights of the poor in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia, traveled to California to stand in solidarity with Cesar Chavez and farm workers, and fought to end another war that cost so many lives.
“Today, we crave a leader with vision who can help us regain our lost humanity and rekindle our inherent generosity. With courage, caring, and charisma, Senator Obama is leading us toward a kinder, gentler world."
Obama said he was "humbled" to learn of Ethel Kennedy's decision.
This presidential campaign cycle has seen a split in the Kennedy family, many of whom generally avoid weighing in on political contests. Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and former First Daughter Caroline Kennedy all endorsed Obama at a campaign rally earlier this week, and are actively stumping for the Illinois senator. Ethel Kennedy's children Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend have both publicly backed Hillary Clinton.
–CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Matt Hoye contributed to this report