Former state Education Secretary Marian Bergeson has endorsed business consultant Diane Dixon for Newport Beach City Council.
Dixon is seeking the seat for District 1, currently occupied by Councilman Mike Henn, who has reached his term limit.
Bergeson previously supported Harbor Commissioner Joe Stapleton for the election, according to a news release, but he has since dropped out of the race.
"Diane Dixon unquestionably has the experience, commitment and energy to be an excellent city councilwoman for her district and for the entire city," Bergeson, a Republican, said in a prepared statement.
Bergeson further noted the importance of electing a female council member because the only two current female council members, Leslie Daigle and Nancy Gardner, will be termed out this year.
No other female candidates have announced an intention to run for the November election.
Bergeson's endorsement is highly sought by area candidates. She is the first woman in California elected to both the state Assembly and Senate, according to her biography, and also served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Newport-Mesa Unified school board before becoming education secretary.
Former Mayor Evelyn Hart, former City Manager Robert Shelton and Daigle, among others, have also endorsed Dixon, according to the release.
Her campaign has raised $45,000 since Jan. 1.
Though Stapleton has dropped out, technology businessman Michael Glenn remains in the Peninsula-area council race.
Dixon is the sister of Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece. She lives on Lido Isle with her husband, Patrick.