Teamsters to back Bloomberg for Mayor

Teamsters to back Bloomberg for mayor
BY Erin Einhorn and Adam Lisberg
Tuesday, October 6th 2009, 4:00 AM

Mayor Bloomberg and the man who wants his job battled for votes with dueling endorsements Monday, while one of the city’s major municipal unions prepared to back the mayor.

A source said Teamsters Local 237 plans to endorse Bloomberg on Wednesday, even after a handful of its 20,000 members were laid off in city budget cuts.

“We think his handling of the fiscal crisis so far has been superb,” preventing further and deeper layoffs, the source said. The union locked in a contract with 4% annual raises last year, days before the Lehman Brothers collapse.

City Controller William Thompson, Bloomberg’s Election Day opponent, yesterday won the backing of New York U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who – just as Gov. Paterson did a few weeks ago – backed their fellow Democrat without undermining Bloomberg.

“I’m not going to say anything negative about Michael Bloomberg,” Schumer said. “I’m just talking positively about Bill Thompson. That’s what I’ve always done.”

Bloomberg also won the backing of the 27,000-member Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which helped City Councilmen John Liu and Bill de Blasio win their respective campaigns for controller and public advocate.

Meanwhile, singer Bette Midler said she hoped the mayor would get reelected after she helped him plant a tree in St. Albans, Queens, as part of the MillionTreesNYC program. It was the 250,000th tree in the two-year-old program.

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