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Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), who stayed neutral during the 2004 presidential nominating contest despite the potential for Hawkeye State Members to become kingmakers every four years, cast his lot Friday with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

[IMGCAP(1)]During a news conference with Clinton in Des Moines, Boswell called the former first lady the most experienced and electable of the candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

“The country cannot afford for the Democrats to lose another election,” Boswell said in a statement. “There’s too much at stake. She’s the most qualified candidate and has the best chance at winning back the White House.”

Boswell becomes the second member of the state’s seven-man Congressional delegation to endorse a candidate for president, and time is running short with the first-in-the-nation caucuses scheduled for Jan. 3. Earlier this month, freshman Rep. Bruce Braley (D) expressed his preference for former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.).

Sen. Tom Harkin (D) has vowed to remain neutral until the Democrats settle on a White House nominee, and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) has so far kept his own counsel on the presidential race. All three Republicans in the delegation — Sen. Chuck Grassley and Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham — have also refrained from endorsing anyone.

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