Feb. 14, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Mayor Bloomberg Pounds D.C. Pavement on Gun Control

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Bloomberg speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on Wednesday.

“Bloomberg has a brilliant tea. They are a bunch of seasoned veteran strategists. He has an unlimited budget, and of course, he can go affect races wherever he wants,“ said C.R. Wooters, a lobbyist and former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer.

Bloomberg’s support comes from his deep pockets, which are large enough to eclipse campaign spending for an entire cycle if he wanted. Campaign finance experts estimate political spending topped $6 billion in 2012 — a fraction of Bloomberg’s $22 billion net worth, according to Forbes.

But it’s hard to find Bloomberg another race as well-suited to his super PAC’s mission as the 2nd District special election. Chicago’s south side endured epidemic gun violence problem in recent years, plus the race received national attention after the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

The most obvious races for Bloomberg to influence are his 2012 targets. For example, Bloomberg spent big to help Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod topple former Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., last year — and now the former congressman is plotting a comeback bid.

Bloomberg could also help former Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., return to Congress this cycle. His PAC boosted Dold with $1 million in advertisements last cycle, and the former congressman has not ruled out a campaign for his seat in the northern Chicago suburbs in 2014 after losing by less than a point last year.

Bloomberg “has a profile of an independent that helps him make his case a little more,” Wooters said.

But Bloomberg could pack the biggest political punch in the most expensive media markets — much like what he did on pricey Chicago television in the special primary.

Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., a favorite of the National Rifle Association, was on the receiving end of a negative Bloomberg ad blitz in 2012. His somewhat competitive district includes the Orlanda media market.

Meanwhile, Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo, R-N.J., another favorite of the NRA, represents another somewhat competitive district in the Philadelphia market. His terrain also includes Atlantic City, which has been ravaged by a crime wave.

Indeed, Bloomberg’s political largess might be best spent in districts where gun control was already an issue. Those districts, for the most part, are urban, heavily Democratic seats — like Kelly’s new district.

Kelly herself avoided mentioning him in her victory speech. But it’s clear that going forward, Bloomberg will be a force of nature in American politics.

Steven T. Dennis and Humberto Sanchez contributed to this report.

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