Interim Mayor Todd Gloria climbed down from the fence Friday and endorsed Councilman David Alvarez for mayor of San Diego.
Gloria, who has won raves for his performance since replacing the resigned Bob Filner on Aug. 30, did not endorse anyone for the Nov. 19 special election and stayed out of the campaign for the Feb. 11 runoff until Friday.
"David Alvarez has been a valuable member of our City Council," said Gloria. "He and I have worked together to increase funding for affordable housing, update the Barrio Logan community plan, and passed the 2014 budget increasing vital city services."
He said Alvarez best shares the vision he outlined Wednesday in his ambitious State of the City address.
Gloria released his comments via the Alvarez campaign because he is traveling. Campaign spokesman Stephen Heverly said the two planned a joint appearance soon.
The endorsement boosts an Alvarez campaign that appeared to stagnate this week following the release of a poll that showed his opponent, fellow Councilman Kevin Faulconer, leading among likely voters 53 percent to 37 percent. Faulconer also gained the backing of police officers and homeless advocate Father Joe Carroll.
"I'm proud to have Interim Mayor Gloria's support," Alvarez said. "I'm also excited about the path to prominence he laid out for San Diego and look forward to working with him on our shared vision."
Gloria and Faulconer generally work well together and were part of the city's negotiating team that nudged Filner out of office.
However, the two have recently been at odds over a pair of divisive issues that Faulconer believes are not friendly to business in San Diego -- an update of the zoning plan for Barrio Logan and an increased fee on commercial construction to pay for affordable housing projects.
Also, Gloria and Alvarez are Democrats on the technically nonpartisan City Council, while Faulconer is a Republican.
The endorsement from Gloria came hours before the two candidates will hold their second debate at television station KUSI.
—City News Service