Another moderate Florida Democrat is endorsing Michael Bloomberg for president

Hint: She was the party’s nominee for governor in 2010
For Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is endorsing Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic primary for president.
For Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is endorsing Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic primary for president. [ Times File Photo ]
Published Feb. 17, 2020|Updated Feb. 17, 2020

Ever since he entered the race, Mike Bloomberg has won over a handful of prominent Florida Democrats unmoved by the party’s slate of 2020 contenders. And now he has another one in his corner: Alex Sink.

Sink, the Democratic Party’s nominee for governor in 2010, is endorsing the former New York mayor today, his campaign will formally announce later this morning. Sink called Bloomberg “the best candidate to win back America and restore honor to the presidency.”

“We need a President focused on higher wages, affordable housing, access to healthcare, and a clean environment," Sink added in a statement. "Mike has been a champion for addressing the impacts of climate change, which is a critical issue for Floridians. And, on the weekend of the anniversary of the Parkland School tragedy, his record on gun safety is a reminder that we need new leadership in our country.”

Sink is the second well-known Tampa Bay Democrat to back Bloomberg in recent weeks. Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also endorsed Bloomberg. And last week, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, a Boca Raton Democrat, announced his support for Bloomberg as well.

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For months, Sink has wrestled over which candidate to get behind. She previously attended a Tampa climate change roundtable hosted by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. But she grew receptive to Bloomberg’s bid amid concerns that much of the field had tacked too far left to win here. She met with Bloomberg’s team not long after he visited Tampa.

As the state’s Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2010, Sink is one of the few Democrats to successfully run for statewide office in Florida over the past two decades. She lost the governor’s race to Rick Scott in 2010 by 62,000 votes.

The latest endorsement for Bloomberg comes as his political fortunes are rising. The divided field of contenders have split the early states, leaving room for a late Bloomberg surge. He has pumped hundreds of millions into television ads in key states, including Florida, and his social media fights with President Donald Trump are grabbing headlines.

But with it has come increased scrutiny over the billionaire’s business career and his three terms as New York’s mayor. A 2015 audio recording recently surfaced of Bloomberg offering an unvarnished defense of racial profiling by his city’s police department. He is also facing questions over his past comments demeaning women and reported accusations of harassment at his company, Bloomberg LP.