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August 02, 2016

Michael Bloomberg endorses Toomey in Pa. Senate race

Ex-NYC mayor praises Republican's attempts at gun control

In a tight U.S. Senate race where Democrats are trying to tie him to the bombastic and oft-controversial GOP nominee Donald Trump, incumbent Republican Pat Toomey has received an endorsement from an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced via his super PAC Independence USA Monday that he supports Toomey in the one-term senator's re-election bid against Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

Bloomberg, an Independent who has called Trump a "risky" choice in his vocal support of Clinton, praised Toomey's past attempts at introducing bipartisan gun-control legislation as reason for the endorsement.

“His pragmatic leadership in Washington deserves the support of every Pennsylvanian,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg, who was elected as mayor of New York as a Republican, also endorsed two Democrats in Pennsylvania races: Josh Shapiro for attorney general and Joe Torsella for treasurer.

Toomey said he was "pleased" to receive Bloomberg's support and said he is proud of his work to try and keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals.

The senator and a gun-control group run by Bloomberg had been in talks this summer to work on legislation to stop suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms, but those talks fell through.

McGinty's campaign scoffed at the idea that Toomey was a moderate on gun control after Bloomberg's endorsement. Per The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"Pat Toomey is not a moderate on gun safety, and he's certainly not a pragmatic leader," said McGinty spokesman Sean Coit, referring to that Democratic bill and the incumbent's recent comments suggesting he remains in good standing with the National Rifle Association. "No endorsement is going to change the fact that Pat Toomey is in lock step with the gun lobby in Congress."

Recent polls have shown Toomey and McGinty are neck-and-neck in the race.