Former South Carolina Democratic Chairman Joe Erwin threw his support behind Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama on Wednesday, saying the Illinois senator offers the freshest approach.

"In Senator Obama, we see a candidate who does what to me is the most important thing we can do in this election, and that's change the course of American politics," Erwin said. "People want a change, and they want a candidate who is not so much about partisanship but about making government work better for people."

Erwin, a Greenville advertising executive who himself may seek office one day, said he admires Obama's main rival, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and he didn't necessarily expect to throw his support behind anyone after leaving the chairman's post in April.

But he noted it was Obama who got his son interested in politics. Erwin said he also plans to work aggressively in Obama's campaign and is impressed with his team in South Carolina. "I anticipate a victory here," he said.

Erwin, who is white, said white Democrats here are ready to support a black candidate for president.

"Race still plays a factor in so much in South Carolina, but more and more people are figuring it out that if you cut our skin, whether you're black or white, we all bleed red," he said. "I've talked to a lot of what Democrats about this, and what they really want is a president who is going to bring fresh perspective, openness and transparency on government."