- U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez will endorse Hillary Clinton in Iowa on Friday
- Perez is the third member of President Barack Obama's cabinet to endorse Clinton
The endorsement likely stings for former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Clinton's Democratic opponent, who helped launch Perez's career when he appointed him to serve as secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in 2007.
Perez said that he was standing behind Clinton because she 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."
"Progressives believe in making progress, which is why I'm proud to endorse Hillary Clinton who I know will continue fighting to ensure our children and grandchildren can achieve their highest and best dreams," he said in a statement provided by the Clinton campaign.
Clinton will headline an event focused on infrastructure in Sioux City on Friday and will then travel to Central Iowa for an town hall in Fort Dodge. Perez will attend both events.
Perez is the third member of President Barack Obama's cabinet to endorse Clinton, following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.
Perez also worked as director of the Office for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Health and Human Services during the final two years of the Clinton White House.
Before serving as labor secretary, Perez was the head of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. According to Clinton aides, Perez will bring that experience to the campaign and advise the candidate on civil rights, criminal justice and economic issues.