SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Bob Filner in the Democratic congressman's San Diego mayoral bid Wednesday, his campaign announced.
At a news conference, Filner said he speaks with Clinton occasionally and that the former president, who was a frequent visitor to San Diego while in office, is aware of the various issues in the city.
"We convinced him this race for mayor was of national importance," said Filner, who is locked in a tight race with Councilman Carl DeMaio. Filner's campaign played a recording of a telephone call from Clinton for reporters.
Filner said he worked with Clinton on securing funding for a sewage treatment plant in the Tijuana River Valley and a veterans' home in Chula Vista, and crafted legislation to use federal money to hire more public safety workers at the local level.
He said he has the support of five San Diego City Council members and numerous other elected officials, including mayors and top state officials.
"The mayor has to work with these people," Filner said. "They know me, they have confidence in me, and they support my candidacy."
About 30 public safety workers, mainly firefighters, stood behind Filner during the news conference.
DeMaio touts his many endorsements from the business community. The councilman was set to visit a restaurant today to discuss small businesses and job creation, and was to speak at a conference of security professionals at the Paradise Point Resort.