Bloomberg picks up first gubernatorial endorsement

Bloomberg picks up first gubernatorial endorsement
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Mike Bloomberg won his first gubernatorial endorsement with an announcement on Wednesday that Rhode Island's governor will back his bid for the Democratic nomination.

A statement from the former New York City mayor's campaign first obtained by The Associated Press stated that Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) would announce the endorsement at an event later in the day. Raimondo, a longtime ally of Bloomberg's, joins a growing list of local officials backing him as he seeks to make a push in the field despite a late start in the Democratic primary.

“Mike is a problem-solver with a long track record of delivering results, and I’m proud to stand with him today,” Raimondo said in the statement. “From fighting gun violence, to addressing climate change, to combating the opioid crisis and more, Mike understands the issues that impact our lives every day."

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"We cannot risk another four years of President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE’s destructive policies, and I know that Mike is the right leader to take him on," the governor added.

Her endorsement comes as Bloomberg looks set to be eligible to appear on the upcoming Democratic presidential debate stage in Las Vegas ahead of the Nevada caucuses thanks to rule changes eliminating a donor threshold that previously prevented the billionaire, who is self-funding his campaign, from being eligible for an invitation.

The rule changes have been roundly criticized by Bloomberg's rivals in the Democratic primary, some of whom have pointed out that the guidelines were previously not changed to ensure that candidates of color would be eligible to appear.

“I’m not sure that this is a development that he's going to welcome, frankly. I think the [Democratic National Committee] looked at this and said, 'We need to get Bloomberg on the debate stage.' This change is clearly tailor-made to deliver him to the debate stage,” said Andrew YangAndrew YangPoll: Majority of voters now say the government should have a universal basic income program The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump threatens Postal Service funding l Biden proposes national mask mandate l Democratic convention takes shape Bloomberg to speak at Democratic convention MORE (D), another 2020 candidate.