- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey for a second term on Monday, less than a week after speaking in support of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.

Bloomberg’s political action committee, Independence USA, called Toomey a pragmatic leader and credited him for working to address gun violence.

“I look at the candidate, not the party label, because we can only solve our biggest problems if we come together across party lines,” Bloomberg said. “Chances are that no candidate is ever going to be perfect for you on every issue, but when brave people buck party orthodoxy and demonstrate bold, pragmatic leadership, they deserve support from all of us.”

Toomey faces former state Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty, a Democrat, in November.

McGinty communications director Sean Coit said Toomey is not a moderate on gun issues and has taken positions on Social Security privatization and health care that do not show pragmatic leadership.

“No endorsement is going to change the fact that Pat Toomey is in lock step with the gun lobby in Congress,” Coit said.

Bloomberg, who was elected mayor as a Republican, is also supporting two Democrats in statewide races this fall - Josh Shapiro for attorney general and Joe Torsella for state treasurer.

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