New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ventured into a governor’s race 800 miles away today, endorsing former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley’s effort to unseat Illinois’s Democratic chief executive, Pat Quinn, in next year’s primary.
In a video endorsement posted on YouTube by the Daley campaign — see it below — Bloomberg called Daley “uniquely qualified to lead Illinois in these challenging times” and pointed to an issue that has fueled the mayor’s other out-of-state political endorsements: gun safety.
“Bill Daley will be a governor who will fight for common sense gun safety laws,” said Bloomberg, whose super-PAC poured $2.2 million this year to help elect Democrat Robin Kelly in a suburban Chicago special congressional election.
Bloomberg is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent company of Bloomberg News.
As Bloomberg News’ Julie Bykowicz has reported, a super-PAC the New York mayor formed just weeks before the Nov. 6, 2012, election “helped make him the fifth-biggest outside spender of the entire campaign season, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign spending. He has spent at least $28 million pressing issues in sync with his positions. Beyond gun safety, they include the right of same-sex couples to marry, climate change and allowing the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to become citizens. ”
Quinn, the former lieutenant governor, became Illinois’s chief executive in 2009 after the impeachment of Democrat Rod Blagojevich. While he narrowly won election in 2010, a challenge in next year’s primary has long been expected. Daley announced his candidacy last month while Attorney General Lisa Madigan, daughter of Speaker of the House and Democratic Party chairman Michael Madigan, is mulling a possible entry into to race.
Daley, a former executive at JPMorgan Chase & Co., served as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff and was commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton. He is the brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Bloomberg also backed the unsuccessful 2012 reelection campaign of Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Dold.