WASHINGTON - Michigan Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester) is endorsing Mike Bloomberg for president.
Posting her support on Twitter over the weekend, Stevens, who represents parts Oakland and Wayne County, said the country needs an "economic champion" and a leader who supports families and "can unlock prosperity for all - not one who makes empty promises."
"I'm endorsing Mike Bloomberg for president because he has the experience to unite the country and defeat Donald Trump this fall, and I am eager to work with him to tackle our toughest problems and strengthen the middle class, lower healthcare costs, and fight climate change."
Steven's endorsement of the former New York City mayor is significant for a variety of reasons. Stevens is a freshman Democrat who flipped her district from red to blue during the 2018 midterms. Spotted as evidence of the "blue wave" that bubbled out of Michigan during the first series of elections since the 2016 presidential race, Stevens represents a key district in 2020.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report currently scores the 11th District as "Lean Democratic."
In what will likely be a brutal primary race this year, the run for the Democratic nomination is featuring several contrasting figures in the electorate. As Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusettes Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar jockey for position in early-voting states, Bloomberg is foregoing campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
Instead, the billionaire is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into advertising and campaigning in other states that his team sees as significant to winning the general election, including Michigan, where he's spent more than $7.5 million on ads.
“We’ve looked at those states, the issues in play there, we think Mike and his background will make him the most competitive candidate on the Democratic side in those states,” said Tim O’Brien, a national senior advisor with the Bloomberg campaign told FOX 2 last week.
Along with Michigan, Bloomberg is focusing his efforts in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona.
Polling out of Lansing shows at least in Michigan, Bloomberg's tactic may be working. In a survey of 600 people looking at perceptions of Democratic candidates, Bloomberg performed best in a race between him and President Donald Trump. However, among candidates who were still were undecided on their opinions of the candidates, Bloomberg scored the highest.
Which is why an endorsement from a moderate Democrat could carry more weight as the Michigan primary nears.
Other congressional representatives from Michigan that have endorsed presidential candidates are Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) who threw her support for Sanders and Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Township) for Warren.
Jack Nissen is a reporter at FOX 2 Detroit. You can contact him at (248) 552-5269 or at Jack.Nissen@Foxtv.com