Originally published February 8, 2014 at 5:19 p.m., updated February 8, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.
Alvarez and Republican Kevin Faulconer, both city councilmen, are in a heated race to succeed former Mayor Bob Filner, who resigned over sexual harassment claims in August. Voters head to the polls in the special election on Tuesday.
"As a native San Diegan, David Alvarez has been a fierce advocate for his city, and on the Council, has led efforts to build a strong middle class, put neighborhoods first and expand opportunities for kids in and out of school," Obama said in a statement. "Today, with the city’s economy and neighborhoods poised to make progress there is no question that David is the right choice to be San Diego’s next mayor and I am excited to support him.”
Alvarez called the endorsement "truly an honor."
"In my years of public service, I have championed many of the same priorities that the President addressed at the State of the Union," Alvarez said in a statement. "I look forward to working with him to achieve our shared agenda and priorities. Together, we can make San Diego a city that expands opportunity for all.”
In response to Obama's endorsement, Faulconer issued a statement citing support he's received during the campaign.
"I'm proud to have the support of local San Diegans, including Father Joe Carroll, hard working San Diego police officers, African American pastors, LGBT leaders, and respected former Mayor Jerry Sanders who knows I have the experience and independence to lead our city and continue the reforms to improve our neighborhoods," he said. "While my opponent continues to benefit from millions of dollars from out-of-town government unions, I'm proud to be running a campaign for San Diego, supported by San Diegans."
Obama has endorsed mayoral candidates in several big cities, including New York City, New Orleans and Houston.
The president did not endorse the Democrat Filner or his opponent, Republican former City Councilman Carl DeMaio, during their 2012 mayoral race. Filner was endorsed by former President Bill Clinton.
In 2012, 61 percent of San Diegans who cast presidential ballots voted for Obama.