A late comer to the mayoral race, software executive Stephanie Woodruff announced Wednesday that the City Council's former president will chair her campaign.

The news that Paul Ostrow, who retired in 2009 after more than a decade on the City Council, is supporting Woodruff could give her a boost as she seeks to separate herself from an already crowded field of candidates.

Woodruff, a Democrat, is currently a citizen member of the city's audit committee.

She also said in a statement that the Fifth District Independence Party had endorsed her bid. The exact implications of that endorsement, beyond a tagline for posters and campaign literature, remain unclear (the party unit's Facebook page has only 30 members).

The local independence party endorsed Lisa McDonald in the 2001 mayoral race and "Papa" John Kolstad in 2009.

"Stephanie is bold and she’s an innovator," Ostrow, now an Anoka County prosecutor, said in a statement. "She will work tirelessly for a better quality of life for everyone in the city. She is a natural leader and will be a great mayor."

Ostrow was president of the City Council from 2002 to 2005. He later served as budget chair from 2006 to 2009.