Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Monday that he is endorsing Michael Bloomberg in his campaign for president in 2020.
Bellone becomes the first county executive in New York to endorse the billionaire businessman and former three-term mayor of New York City.
“I am proud to endorse Mike Bloomberg for president because our country needs to get back in the business of getting things done,” Bellone said in a statement released Monday. “As the mayor of the largest city in the country, Mike earned a reputation as a problem solver who took on the tough fights — and won. This moment in our nation calls for a leader who can bring people together to address the real challenges we face here at home and abroad.
"We need someone who can win key suburban counties like Suffolk County that swung from Obama to Trump." Bellone said. "Mike is the best candidate to lead our country forward.”
Bellone, who was first elected county executive in 2011, said he was “inspired” by service initiatives first developed by Bloomberg in launching his own initiatives in Suffolk, like Suffolk311, the nonemergency government and information services center.
Bloomberg, who will turn 78 in February, last month entered the already crowded field of contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination and on Sunday opened his first in-state campaign headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
The most recent Democratic Presidential Race Quinnipiac poll numbers show Bloomberg in the Top 5 favored by 7% of Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters.
Former Vice President Joe Biden led with 30% of Democrat and Democratic-leaning voters, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17%, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 16% and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9%.
Last week Bloomberg picked up endorsements from two California mayors, Michael Tubbs of Stockton and Sam Liccardo of San Jose.
Bloomberg began the first of his three consecutive terms as mayor in 2002, running as a Republican to defeat Mark J. Green in an election held just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He later left the Republican Party following his re-election in 2005, then campaigned to change the city’s term-limits laws and was elected to a third term as an Independent in 2009.
The billionaire CEO of Bloomberg L.P., the market information provider he founded in the 1980s, Bloomberg has also been a philanthropist and served as chairman of the board of trustees at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.