Etheridge announced his choice this morning, three days after Obama sewed up the Democratic nomination.
"This has been an historic primary, and now that all of the voters have had their say it is time for the party to come together and support our nominee, Barack Obama," Etheridge said in a statement. "I look forward to working to elect Sen. Obama and all other Democrats in November."
Etheridge, of Lillington, is one of the state’s moderate Democrats, representing the conservative Second District that curls east and south around the Triangle, Barb Barrett reports. He had been lobbied heavily by both leading candidates for their support and met in person with both Obama and Hillary Clinton in recent weeks.
He had been coy about when he would endorse, saying repeatedly when asked that he didn’t know when he would make his decision.
Clinton is expected to suspend her campaign Saturday in Washington.
U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, of Lumberton, a conservative Democrat, has not yet announced his decision.
The decision leaves Obama with 12 North Carolina superdelegates to Clinton's three.