Key Richardson adviser joins Clinton campaign

Two days before the key Nevada caucus, the prominent western strategist who spent the past two years organizing the state for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) has jumped to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) presidential campaign.

Mike Stratton, who as member of a Democratic Party commission pushed for Nevada to get the early nominating contest, will formally endorse Clinton on Friday.

“Besides my guy I think she’s the most qualified,” Stratton told The Hill. “I was raised by a strong smart woman and I think that’s what the country needs right now.”

Stratton, a Denver-based political consultant, served as a senior advisor to the New Mexico governor’s political campaign. He said he will help Clinton with fundraising and provide advice on western politics.

Stratton also ran Sen. Ken Salazar’s (D-Colo.) successful 2004 campaign against Republican beer executive Pete Coors.