SAN DIEGO - Interim Mayor Todd Gloria climbed down from the fence today and endorsed Councilman David Alvarez for mayor of San Diego, while Councilman Kevin Faulconer gained the backing of Sheriff Bill Gore.
Gloria, who has won raves for his performance since replacing Bob Filner on Aug. 30, did not endorse anyone before the Nov. 19 special election and had stayed out of the campaign leading up to the Feb. 11 runoff until today.
"David Alvarez has been a valuable member of our City Council," Gloria said. "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 plan to make a joint appearance soon.
The endorsement boosted the Alvarez campaign, in the wake of poll results that showed his opponent leading among likely voters 53 percent to 37 percent. Faulconer this week 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.
In endorsing Faulconer, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said his department "prides itself on its cooperation with the San Diego Police Department, and the successful regional approach to law enforcement."
"Kevin Faulconer's public safety platform will continue promoting this partnership to help ensure safer streets and neighborhoods not just for San Diego, but for our entire region," Gore said.
The endorsements came hours before the two candidates were scheduled to face off in their second debate, at television station KUSI.