In Mayor Bob Foster’s first public endorsement of the 2014 election season, the Long Beach mayor endorsed Vice Mayor Robert Garcia as his chosen successor at a press conference Tuesday.

“Vice Mayor Garcia has been a strong partner who has led efforts to grow the local economy, reform pensions and support our public safety personnel,” Foster said. “There is no one better equipped or prepared to lead our city into the future, than Robert.”

garcia foster2In an announcement made at Colorado Lagoon, Foster cited Garcia’s record of balancing budgets and his interest in technology issues as factors in his decision to endorse. Garcia announced his candidacy for mayor less than 24 hours after Foster said he would not be seeking a third term.

In the past, Foster has been critical of several of the other mayoral candidates including Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, for voting to dissolve redevelopment agencies, and 5th District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, with whom he has often butted heads. 

Also running for mayor in the April 8 primary are Long Beach City College trustee Doug Otto, auto detailer Richard Camp, former NFL player and businessman Damon Dunn, an  auditor with the city Mineo L. Gonzalez, local businessman Steve Mozena, Eric Rock (Donald) and Willmore City Heritage Association Treasurer Jana Shields.

Foster’s endorsement of Garcia comes two weeks after Dunn received another one of the city’s high-profile endorsements–the Long Beach Firefighters Association.

Eds. note: A previous version of this story erronously left Doug Otto off the list of mayoral candidates.

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