Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is seeking re-election, has won the endorsement of Barack Obama — his first high-profile endorsement since leaving the presidency.

Garcetti formally announced the endorsement Tuesday, Feb. 7, at a news conference at his re-election headquarters.

“As mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti has delivered by raising the minimum wage, creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity,” Obama said in a statement released through Garcetti’s 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 expressed pride in the endorsement.

“Thank you, President Obama for your service to this country,” Garcetti said. “Thank you for your support of me in this campaign and thank you for setting the bar for what public service is about for all of us.”

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 Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in California and served as communications director for the State Department under President Bill Clinton.

Garcetti said his work with Obama “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.”