Bloomberg to spend $1M on Cory Booker ads

Michael Bloomberg's ad says Cory Booker would get things done "in a divided Washington."
Michael Bloomberg's ad says Cory Booker would get things done "in a divided Washington."
Posted: October 09, 2013

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, is spending $1 million on TV ads to promote Democrat Cory Booker in the U.S. Senate race in New Jersey.

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser said the ads were being paid for by Independence USA PAC, the independent-expenditure group to which Bloomberg is the sole contributor. Bloomberg created the PAC a year ago and has donated to members of both parties who share his support for initiatives such as gun control.

The ads, first reported by the New York Times, will air in New York City and Philadelphia.

"Mayor Bloomberg has worked with Mayor Booker for a long time and has seen how he's not someone who views things strictly through a partisan lens," Loeser wrote in an e-mail. "He saw that in Mayor Booker's work with Gov. Christie to improve Newark public schools and with the bipartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns to take on the gun lobby.

"Mayor Booker is willing to try innovative new solutions - and he doesn't worry about party lines or the party's traditional special interests. And Mayor Bloomberg thinks we need a lot more of that in Washington."

The ads are a fresh sign that Booker's once-firm grip on the race against Republican Steve Lonegan has loosened.

The 30-second ad begins, "In a divided Washington, a senator to get things done: Cory Booker."

Citing his work with Christie, a Republican, to improve public schools in Newark, it praises him as "a leader to put progress ahead of partisanship."

In response to Bloomberg's support from Booker, Lonegan on Monday announced that he had been endorsed by the conservative groups FreedomWorks and the National Federation of Independent Business.

Booker, the mayor of Newark, has been considered the front-runner since Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg announced that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Lautenberg's death in June set off a special election for his seat that drew interest from four prominent Democrats, including two U.S. representatives.

Booker won the Aug. 13 Democratic primary, but Lonegan, the Republican primary winner, has chipped away at his lead. During and after the primary, Booker led Lonegan by well over 20 points in some polls. The most recent surveys give Booker a 12- to 13-point edge.

The election is Oct. 16.

In an apparent acknowledgment that his lead was slipping, Booker took to the offensive in the first debate Friday, repeatedly accusing Lonegan of being too "extreme" for New Jersey.

Earlier last week, Booker's campaign launched a television ad assailing Lonegan for his support of the partial government shutdown and his antiabortion position.


aseidman@phillynews.com

856-779-3846

@AndrewSeidman

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