Labor Secretary Tom Perez endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a statement on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Perez will make his formal endorsement in Iowa on Friday.
Perez will be the third member of President Barack Obama's Cabinet, after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.
Since becoming Labor secretary in 2013, Perez has overseen the implementation of a number of the Obama administration's unilateral actions on the economy, including changes to overtime pay rules and a $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors. Perez has also pushed for paid leave and joined protests to raise the minimum wage to $15. Clinton supports raising the minimum wage to $12, a target that the Obama administration and Perez have backed.
Perez's endorsement comes as Clinton has shored up support from major unions, including the National Education Association, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Clinton also earned the backing of the Insulators Union on Thursday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton's biggest challenger for the Democratic nomination so far, has gotten fewer endorsements while progressive groups have been tepid about endorsing anyone in the presidential race.
“Secretary Clinton is tough, smart, and understands better than any candidate the challenges that parents are talking about around dinner tables and keeping families up at night,” Perez said in a statement released by Clinton's campaign, according to the Des Moines Register. “In the coming months, I look forward to hitting the campaign trail to highlight the progress we've made as a nation, the unfinished business, and why Hillary Clinton is the fighter we need leading that effort."
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