Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president this morning.
The backing of the mayor of the fourth-largest city in America is Bloomberg’s most high-profile Texas endorsement yet.
It also gives Bloomberg another nod from a prominent black elected official as the billionaire grapples with pushback over his use of “stop and frisk” policies while he was mayor of New York City.
“As mayor, Mike embraced New York’s diversity and made smart investments that brought better infrastructure and greater opportunity to all five boroughs,” Turner, a Democrat, said in a statement released by the campaign. “We need a president who knows how cities run. It’s why I’m proud to endorse Mike for president, and I look forward to sending him to Washington in November.”
The endorsement from Turner comes after an audio recording of a 2015 speech surfaced in which Bloomberg is heard defending the racial profiling used in “stop and frisk.”
Congressional Black Caucus member Congresswoman Lucy McBath said in her statement of support for Bloomberg, “Nobody running for president has done more for the gun violence prevention movement than Mike.”
Turner plans to help officially launch Bloomberg’s newest initiative, Mike for Black America.
The program will be aimed at both engaging black Americans on key issues for the black community and spearheading an organizing effort on Bloomberg’s behalf.
Mike for Black America is related to other campaign initiatives designed to appeal to key constituencies, like Women for Mike, Jews for Mike and Ganamos con Mike.
It also builds on plans like the Greenwood initiative, which is meant to respond to systemic inequities that have kept many Black Americans from achieving generational wealth.
The launch also comes in the wake of recent polls showing Bloomberg is making major strides in national polls including gains with black voters.
A Quinnipiac poll this week put him in second place with the key Democratic voting bloc.
Turner’s endorsement of Bloomberg comes at a pivotal time in the campaign, as black voters who had planned to support Joe Biden may be searching for alternatives after his two lackluster finishes in the first two Democratic primary voting contests in Iowa, where he appears to have placed fourth, and in New Hampshire where he was a distant fifth.
Turner, the mayor of one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., joins a growing list of black mayors across the country throwing their weight behind Bloomberg.