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WASHINGTON – Sen. Charles E. Schumer on Saturday endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2016, urging the former secretary of state and New York senator to run and telling Iowa Democrats they should support her.

“Run, Hillary, run!” Schumer, D-N.Y. was scheduled to say in a speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa.

“If you run, you’ll win and we’ll all win,” according to excerpts of prepared remarks Schumer was set to deliver.

The senator’s office provided the excerpts.

Schumer lauded Clinton as by far the best-prepared potential candidate for president.

“You know her well: as first lady, senator, secretary and as a wife and mother,” he said. “Hillary’s experience is unrivaled and her vision is unparalleled.”

Clinton has said she will not seriously mull over a second presidential bid until next year at the earliest.

But Schumer’s endorsement, while expected, adds to the drumbeat of Democrats calling for a Clinton candidacy.

A political action committee called Ready for Hillary, which gets advice from some major figures in “Hillaryland,” is already paving the way for her to run.

Last week, Sen. Kay Hagen, D-N.C., said in a speech in New York that all of the Senate’s Democratic women – including Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y. – have signed a letter urging Clinton to run.

What’s significant about Schumer’s announcement, though, is its location. Iowa will hold the caucuses that will choose the first Democratic delegates in the 2016 race, and the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner has played a storied role in previous campaigns.

For example, President Obama’s stirring speech at the event in 2007 came just weeks before he defeated Clinton in the 2008 Iowa caucuses.

“Suffice to say, in 2008, the time was right for Barack Obama. He has successfully navigated this country through some choppy waters and he will continue to do so for the next three years,” Schumer was set to say. “2016 is Hillary’s time. And our nation will be all the better for it.”

In addition to endorsing Clinton, Schumer – who backed her 2008 candidacy over Obama’s – predicted victory for her.

“With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, tea party Republicans in 2016 and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever,” Schumer said.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com