Three members of Congress endorse Bloomberg after raucous debate

Democratic presidential candidate Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEverytown hits GOP on gun safety in closing .5M battleground ad barrage A closing argument: Why voters cannot trust Trump on healthcare Biden campaign swamps Trump on TV airwaves MORE picked up three more congressional endorsements, despite struggling in his primary debate debut Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Democratic Reps. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerTrump fuels and frustrates COVID-19 relief talks Trump's illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal House approves .2T COVID-19 relief bill as White House talks stall MORE (N.J.), Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyTop House Democrats call for watchdog probe into Pompeo's Jerusalem speech With Biden, advocates sense momentum for lifting abortion funding ban Progressives look to flex their muscle in next Congress after primary wins MORE (N.Y.) and Pete AguilarPeter (Pete) Ray AguilarOn The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Anxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid Rep. Robin Kelly enters race for Democratic caucus vice chair MORE (Calif.) all pledged their support to the billionaire, giving Bloomberg a total of 15 congressional endorsements, second to only former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE, who has more than three times that amount.

Each lawmaker has a strong connection — either political or personal — to the former New York mayor, The Associated Press reports.


For example, Howard Wolfson, Lowey's former chief of staff, was a longtime Bloomberg aide and is now a top adviser to his campaign.

Bloomberg also campaigned for Gottheimer in 2018, and the New York congressman's brother-in-law, Bradley Tusk, managed Bloomberg's mayoral reelection campaign in 2009.

Aguilar, chief deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus, got support from Independence USA PAC — a Bloomberg political group — during a tough 2014 congressional race.

Aguilar, also a former mayor, cited Bloomberg's knowledge of tough issues “at both the national and local levels” and his “track record as a former mayor on gun safety and climate," according to the AP.

Rival Democrats repeatedly targeted Bloomberg in the debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas, launching attacks in the first minutes of the event.

Updated at 8:46 a.m.