Villaraigosa to Endorse Filner for Mayor

Congressman Bob Filner locked up a round of endorsements Monday from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the union representing San Diego firefighters.

L.A.'s mayor will be in town over the weekend attending various events with Filner, the Congressman said Monday.

Villaraigosa, a former union leader and former state Assemblyman, will be hosting a fundraiser for Filner on Friday with members of the San Diego La Raza Lawyer's Association.

Villaraigosa's office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The endorsement signals an effort to feature support from high-profile Latinos, to counter rival mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio's "Latinos for DeMaio" campaign.

"I'm honored that the mayor of the biggest city in the state and the second biggest city in the country understands that I will be the best mayor for San Diego," Filner said.

"And the fact that he's one of the highest ranking Latino officials in the nation gives added signifcance to this endorsement in our city. The mayors in the bigger cities of the state are going to have to work together to get things done and this sets the stage for my working with Antonio."

Last week, DeMaio announced the endorsement of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, who DeMaio has sharply criticized at City Hall. DeMaio also won the support of one of San Diego's key Democrats, Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs -- evidence of what DeMaio calls his bi-partisan support in the city.

Also last week, a new poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for 10News, showed Filner leading DeMaio 50 percent to 38 percent with 12 percent of voters undecided.

Of today's news, the DeMaio campaign was unimpressed.

"San Diegans will decide who our next mayor will be, not a Los Angeles politician," said DeMaio spokesman K.B. Forbes. Forbes, founder of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos is himself billed as an advocate for the Hispanic community.

With 35 days left until the election, close political observers realize the Latino vote will be indispensable. Earlier polls show some voters mistakenly believing DeMaio is a Latino because of his last name.

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