Michael Bloomberg nabs his first congressional endorsement in presidential run

Michael Bloomberg picked up his first congressional endorsement Monday as Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., threw his support behind the billionaire businessman’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Rose, a freshman lawmaker who has already gained a reputation for having an independent streak within the Democratic Party, said he was backing Bloomberg’s bid because of the former New York City mayor’s “even-keeled and visionary leadership.”

“Mayor Bloomberg’s even-keeled and visionary leadership is what we need to reduce the chaos, partisanship and hyper-vitriol that has overtaken Washington,” Rose, whose district encompasses parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, said in a statement. “Rather than submit to another stage of politics as usual, we must be bold and unifying in taking on the huge challenges we face as a nation.”

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Rose added: “We need to root out corruption so we can put the economy back on the side of working people, fix our crumbling infrastructure, lower prescription drug costs and end the opioid epidemic. Mike Bloomberg has taken on tough fights and gotten results, which is why I believe he is the best candidate for my district, my city, and for our country.”

While Rose may not be a household name, the endorsement is still a win for Bloomberg, who entered the Democratic presidential primary late year and has forgone campaigning in the early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Instead Bloomberg has focused his unorthodox campaign on states up for grabs on Super Tuesday and later primaries – saturating the airwaves and social media with a media blitz.

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He has registered mid-single-digit support in national polls but has risen steadily along with his advertising spending. He has come in below former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but higher in some polls than his fellow billionaire candidate, Tom Steyer.

Bloomberg has had a virtual monopoly on presidential advertising and campaigning in the states that follow the traditional starting-gun states of Iowa and New Hampshire. In Georgia, which won't vote until after Super Tuesday, he recently donated $5 million to a voting-rights political group led by Stacey Abrams, a rising star who nearly became Georgia's first black female governor in 2018 but lost a close race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.