Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, donated $2.5 million to help Democrats defend their majority in the Senate, becoming one of the party’s biggest mega donors.
With more than 300 days remaining before Election Day, both sides are looking to set the agenda before voters start paying attention.
Bloomberg’s donation to the Senate Majority PAC would help defend four Democrats targeted by the Republican National Committee for their support of Obamacare. The political independent left office last week after 12 years and seems eager to have his hand in races nationwide.
“Mike Bloomberg is going to continue to fight for the causes that matter to New Yorkers — even more so now that he isn’t constrained by the mayoralty,” Bloomberg adviser Stu Loeser said.
A Bloomberg aide said that the donation was made out of a personal friendship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and not as a show of support for Democrats. The super PAC is run by several of Reid’s former aides.
Last year, Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC spent millions to help Democrat Terry McAuliffe capture the governor’s office in Virginia and aired more than $2 million in ads for him.
Bloomberg also aired ads criticizing lawmakers who didn’t support tighter federal laws on guns. Additionally, he lined up to support lawmakers from both parties who have pro-environment and pro-education reform positions.