OAKLAND | MAYOR | When Gov. Jerry Brown served as mayor of Oakland, Councilmember Libby Schaaf was part of his staff. If the popular governor was going to weigh-in on this 15-candidate mayoral race this fall, it was likely going to be in Schaaf’s favor.

With some fanfare, and statewide attention lacking in this campaign, Brown announced his endorsement of Schaaf Monday afternoon at her campaign headquarters on Grand Avenue. The high-profile backing from Brown comes on the same day the registrar of voters is scheduled to begin mailing vote-by-mail ballots for the Nov. 4 election.

However, two polls last month showed Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan has the race’s front runner, Mayor Jean Quan and Schaaf both stood within striking distance. In recent weeks, both Quan and Schaaf have shown a renewed vigor at public appearances. Brown’s boost has the potential to tighten the race among the few top-tier candidates that also include Joe Tuman, Dan Siegel and Bryan Parker.

According to reports, Brown declined to recommend a second and third choice for the ranked-choice voting contest.