ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former rival has endorsed New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller for Albuquerque mayor.

Brian Colon announced Wednesday he was throwing his support behind Keller because of his "strong message."

The move comes after Colon came in third in an open mayoral race behind Keller and city council Dan Lewis early this month. Keller and Lewis are set to face each other in a run-off on Nov. 14.

Colon, a Democrat, had sought to make the run-off by appealing to Hispanic voters but fell short amid strong backing from liberal whites for Keller, who is also a Democrat.

Keller says he is humbled to have Colon's support.

Lewis, a Republican, came in second and is seeking to rally conservatives in the nonpartisan race to succeed Mayor Richard Berry.