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President Barack Obama announced on Monday that he was endorsing Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in what is considered the Democrats’ most contentious Senate primary race this year.

"I have worked with Sen. Schatz on the issues that matter to Hawaii. Brian's deep commitment to the people of Hawaii and his effective leadership are why I believe it is important to return him to the Senate," Obama said in a statement. "Sen. Schatz is protecting Hawaii's values and fighting every day on behalf of middle-class families. There is no question that Sen. Schatz is the right choice to continue delivering for Hawaii."

Schatz -- who was appointed to fill the seat vacated by the late Sen. Daniel Inouye -- is taking on Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, in the primary that takes place on Aug. 9.

Obama’s endorsement in this contest could carry extra weight, since Hawaii was the state where the president grew up.