A longtime state political fixture and former U.S. Congressman has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama in the West Virginia Democratic primary.
Ken Hechler, who served in Congress from 1959 to 1977 and was subsequently Secretary of State, said Obama is able to inspire young people and unaffiliated voters like no other candidate.
Hechler is the latest well-known public figure to endorse Obama, joining Sen. Jay Rockefeller and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall.
Obama's opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has lined up the support of some Democratic Party officials who aren't as well-known as Hechler, Rockefeller and Rahall.
Some of the state's most prominent Democrats -- including Gov. Joe Manchin and Sen. Robert C. Byrd -- have stayed neutral so far.