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Janet Long latest Florida backer of Mike Bloomberg’s presidential bid

Bloomberg is announcing Florida endorsements almost daily.

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long is endorsing Mike Bloomberg for President, she announced Tuesday.

“Mike is someone who has for years practiced what he preached by initiating real, concrete change during his time as Mayor of New York City. Having executive experience running a city like New York cannot be minimized,” said Long, who is also a former member of the Florida House.

“His focus, determination and true care for the City of New York proves that he is not only a qualified candidate for president, but someone who can also take on the challenges our country faces and unite us in November.”

Bloomberg is also one of only two candidates in the Democratic field to receive a passing grade from Transportation For America, a nationwide group focused on robust improvements to the nation’s transportation infrastructure, a key priority for Long as a County Commissioner.

“I’m excited to join a campaign focusing on issues that deeply matter to me and Floridians across the Sunshine State,” Long said.

“The former New York City mayor is the only candidate who leads with updating and improving the structure of the transportation program itself — not just pouring more money into a broken system. He calls out the transportation program’s total lack of goals and he proposes assessing how transportation projects improve ‘connectivity to jobs, equity, accessibility, development efficiency, health and environmental effects,’ according to his plan,” the group wrote in its scoring.

They also gave Bloomberg points for emphasizing the need for street design that promotes safety for all users, a point Long has made as a Commissioner and member of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.

Long’s endorsement comes as Bloomberg lines up support in key states including Florida.

That includes U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, former Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Sen. Joe Pizzo, Florida House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgens, former Palm Beach County Mayor and Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgens, former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa City Council Member Joseph Citro, among others.

The campaign expects further endorsements in the coming weeks.

Bloomberg’s momentum in Florida appears on the rise. He recently led a statewide St. Pete Polls survey of Democratic voters, inching out former front-runner Joe Biden for the top position.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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