LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is seeking reelection, today won the endorsement of Barack Obama -- his first since leaving the presidency.
Garcetti plans on announcing the endorsement to campaign volunteers at his re-election headquarters at 10 a.m., said a spokesman for the mayor.
“As Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti has delivered by raising the minimum wage, creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,'' Obama said in remarks quoted in a statement from the Garcetti campaign.
“This past November, Eric led the campaign to pass the largest transportation infrastructure measure in our nation's history. Eric is my friend, a loyal ally and a great and visionary Mayor of Los Angeles. I strongly endorse Eric Garcetti for a second term as Mayor of Los Angeles.''
Garcetti, in the statement, expressed pride in the endorsement.
“I am honored and humbled to be endorsed by my friend and ally in making L.A. work for everyone, President Barack Obama," he said.
“President Obama led us from the Great Recession, extended healthcare to millions of people and brought millions more closer to equality. Our work together helped create jobs, build infrastructure and lift people from poverty all across our city. I am so proud to have President Obama on my side as I run for re-election so I can keep getting things done for Los Angeles."
Obama and Garcetti have known each other since 2007, when Garcetti became an early endorser of his presidential bid. Garcetti worked closely with the Obama Administration to secure billions of dollars in funding for Los Angeles infrastructure, anti-poverty Promise Zones and aerospace manufacturing. Obama and Garcetti also worked closely together on ending homelessness, community policing and raising the minimum wage, the statement said.
First elected in 2013, Garcetti is on the March 7 primary ballot. One of his opponents is expected to be Mitchell Schwartz, who directed Obamas 2008 presidential campaign in California and served as communications director for the State Department under President Bill Clinton.