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Rep. Baron Hill (D) on Wednesday endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in next week’s Democratic presidential primary, saying the Illinois Senator puts the “good of the country before the good of a particular political party.”

“Choosing between two worthy candidates was very difficult, but in the end, after much discussion with people in Southern Indiana, as well as mentors of mine such as [former Rep.] Lee Hamilton (D), I have decided to support Senator Obama,” Hill said in a statement.

A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Ken Spain, said Hill’s decision to endorse Obama indicates he is out of touch with the district.

“In a district that will undoubtedly vote for John McCain in November, Baron Hill has just latched his political fortune to a far left liberal extremist who opposes the ban on partial-birth abortion and supports a radical government-run health care system,” Spain said.

Hill has his fourth race in as many cycles against former Rep. Mike Sodrel (R) in his southern Indiana district. Sodrel defeated Hill for the seat one time in 2004, but each election is a bloody and close battle in what many expect to be the most competitive district in the state again this cycle.

— Shira Toeplitz

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