02/21/2013 12:28 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2013

Mike Bloomberg Endorses Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14:  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers the annual State of the City address at the Barclays C
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers the annual State of the City address at the Barclays Center on February 14, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bloomberg cited positive statistics including a record 52 million visitors to the city and a record low 419 homicides in 2012 while calling for a ban on styrofoam in the city. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has not weighed in on the race to succeed him, but he is reaching across the Hudson River to offer support to a key ally in his war against illegal guns.

Bloomberg announced Thursday morning that he is backing Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy (D) in his race for a third term against City Councilman Steve Fulop (D) in the May nonpartisan election. Healy is a founding member of Mayor's Against Illegal Guns, which Bloomberg started with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (D). MAIG has taken center stage in recent weeks as gun control debates heat up in Washington and state capitols.

“Mayor Healy has been an excellent partner in the effort to eliminate the scourge of illegal guns and he has been a thoughtful leader on economic development and environmental issues that are so important to our region,” Bloomberg said in a statement released by Healy's campaign. “America needs mayors like Jerramiah Healy and he has earned another four years to keep the progress going in Jersey City.”

Jersey City, New Jersey's second largest city, sits across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan. The race between Healy and Fulop has evolved into the most competitive in the state and the impact of the race will have ramifications statewide.

A Fulop victory would likely cause significant upheaval in the powerful Hudson County Democratic Party in the run-up to the November governor's election, while a Healy win would solidify the current party establishment's power. Fulop, who worked for over a decade on Wall Street, has made his name as a reform politician.

Fulop's spokesman declined to comment on Bloomberg's endorsement. Fulop's campaign, however, sent out an email to supporters Thursday morning roughly 45 minutes before Healy's campaign sent out the Bloomberg release, touting his backing by two labor unions this week. Fulop's email claims that Healy is "panicking" and is sending out "outrageous lies."


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