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Politics & Policy

Billionaire ex-mayor of NYC drops big money into San Francisco mayoral race

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Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $200K to support San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s reelection. | Source: David M. Benett/Getty Images ; Noah Berger for The Standard

San Francisco’s mayoral race, which is still more than nine months away, is starting to see some big money pour in.

Billionaire, former three-term New York mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has donated $200,000 to an independent political committee called Forward Action SF, Supporting London Breed for Mayor 2024.

“Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Breed worked closely on important priorities like improving public safety by reducing gun violence, keeping tobacco out of the hands of young kids and making San Francisco a greener city,” the committee said in a statement.

Notably, Breed endorsed Bloomberg in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary after her first choice, current Vice President Kamala Harris, withdrew from the race.

Bloomberg has widely been seen as a centrist figure within Democratic Party politics. He has also switched his party affiliations several times, initially registering as a Democrat until his successful 2001 campaign for mayor, in which he ran as a Republican. He became an independent in 2007 and finally switched back to the Democratic Party in 2018.

The committee, which has no connection to Breed’s own campaign, has started to place ads in Chinese-language media like Sing Tao Daily to promote Breed’s public safety and pro-police policies.

“Mayor London Breed: Working tirelessly to ensure our community’s safety,” one headline reads. Other outreach plans include digital ads, radio ads and mailers.

The committee said that Bloomberg is one of many donors who are supporting its efforts to reach voters about Breed's work to reduce homelessness and make San Francisco safer and more affordable. 

Most other donors are real estate developers. The total the committee has raised so far amounts to $265,120.

One of Breed’s major opponents, nonprofit executive and Levi’s heir Daniel Lurie, recently nabbed a seven-figure donation. His mother donated $1 million to support his mayoral campaign.

Han Li can be reached at han@sfstandard.com