[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/15/art.kennedy.gi.jpg caption="Kennedy is backing Moran."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A member of the Kennedy clan is making an endorsement in the Virginia governor's race.
Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, announced on Friday that he's backing Democrat Brian Moran.
"Last November, families in Virginia and across the nation helped usher in a new generation of leadership," Kennedy said in a statement. "However, the need for this new generation of leaders is not confined to Washington and the White House."
It's another example - after Ted and Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama in 2008 - of the Kennedy family keeping its political distance from Bill and Hillary Clinton. Moran's rival for the Democratic nomination, after all, is longtime Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe. The former president has been campaigning for McAuliffe throughout the commonwealth this week.
With low turnout expected in the June 9 primary, each campaign hopes that these brand name endorsements will help them win the support of the Democratic loyalists likely to go to the polls on election day.
Moran and McAuliffe are competing against Democrat Creigh Deeds for their party's nomination. The winner of that primary will face Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election.
The endorsement is not the only Kennedy boost Moran is getting: Ethel Kennedy, the widow of former Senator Robert F. Kennedy, is hosting a fundraiser for Moran on May 27 at her home, Hickory Hill in McLean.