Eric Zimmerman scored a big endorsement this week in his race to replace Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey: former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

As Oregon's first female governor, Roberts looms large over local politics. Hers is a coveted endorsement. However, it doesn't always spell success. Roberts endorsed Bailey in his bid for Portland mayor in May, when he lost badly to state Treasure Ted Wheeler, now Portland's mayor-elect.

Zimmerman is County Commissioner Diane McKeel's chief of staff.

"Eric's extensive experience working within the Multnomah County government makes him best suited to help the most vulnerable people in our region," Roberts said in a statement released Friday by the Zimmerman campaign. "Everybody wants to help women, children and those most in need. The difference is Eric knows how to get it done."

Last week, Zimmerman's opponent in the November runoff, Dr. Sharon Meieran, snagged the endorsements of three opponents from the May primary.