Barack Obama can’t vote in the District, but he knows who he wants to be its mayor. In a statement this morning from Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser‘s campaign, Obama endorsed the Ward 4 councilmember in the mayor’s race.

In his statement, Obama describes Bowser as a “champion for working and middle-class families” and a ‘”passionate proponent” of the District.

Bowser says she hasn’t talked to Obama personally about the endorsement. Obama hasn’t planned any campaign appearances with Bowser, according to campaign spokesman Joaquin McPeek.

“We would love to see the president, of course, in every place in the city,” Bowser said.

The campaign manager for rival David Catania says the Obama endorsement is a response to a new poll that showed the race narrowing.

“You can’t blame them at all for this,” says Ben Young, Catania’s manager. “They’re doing whatever they can to try to blunt David’s momentum in this race.”

At her press conference, Bowser preemptively responded to opponents’ claims that Obama’s endorsement means that she’s concerned about her position in the race.

“Last week my opponents were saying, ‘Where’s the president?'” Bowser said.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery