As the candidates for San Diego mayor made their final pushes for votes, Councilman David Alvarez scored an endorsement today from Gov. Jerry Brown.

“David Alvarez has been a leader in the community and on the City Council, fighting for innovative policies that will grow the economy and protect the environment,” Brown said. “He is the kind of mayor San Diego needs.”

Mayoral candidate David Alvarez. Photo courtesy David Alvarez for Mayor.

Alvarez, who rode the trolley during the morning commute to seek votes, said he was “incredibly grateful” for the governor’s support and pledged to work with him to create a stronger middle class. He has received endorsements from numerous Democratic state officials.

“We’re really excited because it’s the last day,” Alvarez told CBS8. “We’re trying to get out the votes tomorrow, and it’s going to be a fantastic day for us.”

Councilmen Kevin Faulconer told the station that a lot work and energy goes into the last two days of a campaign, so he and his supporters will be knocking on doors and making phone calls. He and his mother held signs and waved at drivers during the morning commute.

A poll released Sunday showed Faulconer leading Alvarez 47 percent to 46 percent among likely voters. The SurveyUSA poll, conducted on behalf of 10News and U-T San Diego, had Faulconer up by 5 points two weeks ago.

“We’ve known it’s going to be a tight, close race since the very beginning,” Faulconer told 10News. “I love where we are. We’re going to take this across the finish line tomorrow.”

Political observers have been expecting a close race that’s likely to be decided by turnout at the city’s polling places.

The National University System Institute for Policy Studies found that Democrats have returned more absentee ballots than Republicans. However, the portion of GOP voters who have done so is greater than the percentage of Democrats.

Vince Vasquez, author of the NUSIPR report, said the weekend endorsement of Alvarez by President Barack Obama could add to Election Day interest.

“Polling shows that Faulconer maintains a narrow lead in this election,” Vasquez said. “Alvarez will have to generate a higher Democratic turnout on Election Day in order to win. With Obama an unknown factor in this race, it may be a late evening for poll watchers.”

Vasquez also said more than 40,000 ballots have been returned from people who are not affiliated with the Democrat or Republican parties.

In the Nov. 19 special election, Alvarez was in third place when absentee ballots were counted. However, when votes from the polling places came in, he edged out former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher for a spot on the runoff ballot.

Tuesday’s winner will serve out the nearly three years remaining in the term of Bob Filner.

— City News Service