- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee says he’s supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2016.

Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi told The Associated Press he has known Clinton since the 1980s, when he was a Hinds County supervisor and she was an attorney in Arkansas. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was governor there before being elected president in 1992 and 1996.

“She has a portfolio of experiences unmatched by anybody in the race, Democrat or Republican,” Thompson said, citing her work as secretary of state, U.S. senator and wife of a former president. “Her strength is not backing up on the issues and not afraid to address issues of controversy.”

Thompson, who has been in the House since 1993, is one of five Mississippi super delegates already set to attend next summer’s Democratic National Convention.

Tyrone Gayle, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said Monday that Thompson’s support will boost Clinton in the Mississippi primary on March 8.

“Hillary Clinton is honored to receive the endorsement of Congressman Thompson, who shares her commitment to raise Mississippians’ wages, lower their health care and child-care costs and reform our criminal justice system,” Gayle said in an email.

One of Mississippi’s Republican congressmen, Gregg Harper, announced weeks ago that he’s supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president. Kasich was in Mississippi last Wednesday for a fundraiser in Jackson and an appearance at Mississippi College in Clinton.

The others in Mississippi’s congressional delegation - Republican Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker and Reps. Trent Kelly and Steven Palazzo - have not committed to a presidential candidate.

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Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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