(CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel received a last minute endorsement from one of his most outspoken critics and one-time opponent, Alderman Bob Fioretti.

Fioretti ran against Emanuel in this year’s election, coming in fourth place and failing to qualify for the runoff.

In a written statement, Fioretti says: “The mayor and I disagree on many issues. But my endorsement is not about those issues. My endorsement is about which of these two candidates is ready and able to take on the tough financial challenges this city faces.”

Emanuel campaign spokesman Steve Mayberry released a statement saying, “Though they have had their differences in the past, the Mayor has a lot of respect for the Alderman’s independence and his focus on the tough financial issues that require a mayor with the strength and experience to keep moving our great city forward.”

Fioretti still has sizeable campaign debts, and says he’s in the process of asking supporters for help in paying them off.

Emanuel’s opponent Chuy Garcia picked up the endorsement of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association citing his support for an elected school board.

“Almost 90 percent of Chicagoans have voted for a representative school board.” Garcia said in a statement. “A school board that is elected by the people and can ensure that every student in our system has access to good textbooks, libraries, recreational facilities; healthy food options; and course offerings in languages, literature and the arts. That’s what principals and administrators, along with teachers and parents have been calling on this Administration to deliver. We are still waiting.”

Mayor Emanuel continues to lead his Chuy Garcia in the latest Ogden and Fry polls. In a poll conducted Sunday with 904 respondents, Emanuel had 47.6 percent and Garcia had 34.2 percent, and 18.3 percent of voters were undecided, with a margin of error of 3.33 percent. In a poll conducted Friday with 1,101 respondents and no undecided option, Emanuel had 57.9 percent to Garcia’s 42.1 percent and a margin of error of 3.01 percent.

The runoff election is April 7 and early voting is currently underway until April 4. For a list of early voting locations, click here. According to an unofficial count by the Chicago Board of Elections, 72,312 people have cast their ballots early so far as of Sunday afternoon, comparted to 32,250 at this point in February and 33,997 at this point in Feb. 2011.