Four-term North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt on Wednesday endorsed Nancy McFarlane for another term as Raleigh mayor in ahead of the October 10 municipal elections.

Hunt, eighty, served as governor from 1977–85 and again from 1993–2001. One of the state’s most prominent Democrats, Hunt is speaking out for McFarlane, a politically unaffiliated figure running against Raleigh attorney Charles Francis, who won the endorsement of the Wake County Democratic Party.

In a statement sent out by McFarlane’s organization, Hunt cited McFarlane’s ten years in city government—four as a city council member and six as mayor—including her work in arranging for Raleigh’s purchase of the former Dorothea Dix property.

“I have worked with Mayor McFarlane for many years and have been so impressed with all she has accomplished for the citizens of Raleigh,” Hunt said in the statement. “Her handling of Dix Park was masterful. She is a true leader and has my full support.”

Francis has positioned himself as a “Jim Hunt Democrat,” referring to Hunt’s socially progressive, business-friendly administrations. Both McFarlane and Francis have attracted backers across lines of affiliation, according to public records of campaign donations.

Francis did not immediately return a call requesting reaction.