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Bernie Sanders officially announced his endorsement for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, ending a rivalry that spanned over a year.

Sanders hopes the announcement will solidify the Democratic party and will sway his supporters to vote for Clinton in November.

Sanders’ campaign released the following statement to supporters via email Tuesday morning before he appeared alongside Clinton at a joint-unity Democratic rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

According to NBC News:

“Sanders may not formally suspend his campaign, however, for procedural reasons related to the upcoming Democratic National Convention.”

“This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face,” Sanders said as he addressed the crowd. “And there is no doubt in my mind that as we head into November, Hillary Clinton is far and away the best candidate to do that.”

Sanders also wasted no time slamming GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump, and touted President Obama‘s economic achievements over the last eight years. He also voiced his reasoning for why this election year is uniquely important.

“This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system,” Sanders said.

After the tumultuous week the nation suffered, Sanders touched on the notion that now is a time for unity.

“In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up,” he said.

“Hillary Clinton will make a great president and I am proud to stand with her today,” Sanders said at the close of his speech.

This is a developing story.

SOURCE: NBC News |  PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter | VIDEO SOURCE: YouTube

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