D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie endorsed colleague Anita Bonds at a campaign event Thursday night, which may help solidify support in Ward 5 behind Bonds ahead of the April 23 special election.

Around 7 p.m., the Bonds campaign uploaded photos on Twitter of McDuffie (D-Ward 5) and Bonds (I-At large) embracing. McDuffie, the president pro-tempore of the council, also vowed to put “his full support behind Anita Bonds.”

In a statement supplied by the Bonds campaign, McDuffie said “Ward 5 residents know, love and respect Anita Bonds as a powerful advocate for their concerns.”

“I am supporting Anita, the Democrat with vast experience, a strong work ethic and outstanding heart,” McDuffie said.

McDuffie, who was elected in a special election last year on a message of unity and consensus building, is supporting Bonds even though she’s come under fire for remarks that some view as insensitive.

His support could help Bonds further strengthen her hand in vote-rich Northeast, Bonds’s home base. It’s also another sign that the African-American community may be coalescing around Bonds as the campaign enters its final weekend.

But McDuffie may also be looking out for his own interests. He’s up for reelection next year in Ward 5. Bonds, chairwoman of the D.C. Democratic State Committee, could be a powerful ally to have on his side, regardless of whether she remains on the council.

With McDuffie’s endorsement, Bonds now has the support of six Democratic council members — Vincent Orange (At-large), Jack Evans (Ward 2), Muriel Bowser (D-Ward), Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), Marion Barry (Ward 8) and McDuffie.

Council member David Grosso (I-At large) is supporting Democratic candidate Elissa Silverman.