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Washington — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is helping Democratic congressional candidates with a major advertising boost about a week and a half from Election Day.

Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC has disclosed a whopping $2 million media buy for a new television ad to help U.S. House candidate Haley Stevens, who is running to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Dave Trott of Birmingham. 

"It’s clearer than ever that we need a new Congress," Bloomberg tweeted Friday.

"With the midterm elections less than two weeks away, we’re taking this message from coast to coast and urging voters to elect Democrats to the House and Senate."

Stevens, the former chief of staff of President Barack Obama's auto task force, faces Republican businesswoman Lena Epstein, who chaired President Donald Trump's Michigan campaign, in the Nov. 6 election. 

"The Democrats are clearly scared that they are on verge of losing this seat after public polling shows Lena closed a 7-point gap to a tie in recent weeks," said John Yob, a consultant for Epstein's campaign. 

"She is on track to win this race despite the millions of dollars that New York liberals are spending to try and stop her."

Epstein's candidacy has benefited from spending from outside groups including American First Action, a super PAC aligned with Trump's agenda, which announced this week it's spending another $100,000 in Michigan's 11th District on behalf of Epstein after already spending $800,000 on attack ads.

America First also said it is investing another $650,000 in the 8th District, where Democrat Elissa Slotkin is challenging GOP Rep. Mike Bishop of Rochester. 

Vice President Mike Pence is expected at a campaign event with Epstein on Monday in Waterford Township. His wife, Karen Pence, will appear at a campaign rally at Epstein's campaign headquarters in Commerce Township on Friday.  

CNN reported the Detroit buy by Bloomberg's PAC is part of a $10 million effort by the potential presidential candidate in the final days of the midterm campaign season.

The ad is also airing in Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, Miami, Orlando, Portland and Atlanta, as well as nationally on MSNBC and CNN.

It focuses on the economy, saying that electing more Democrats to Congress will lead to a tax cut for the middle class, ensured coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and protection for Social Security and Medicare. 

Independence USA PAC has reported spending $2.63 million to support Stevens so far this election cycle. 

Stevens has outraised Epstein, bringing in $3.58 million to Epstein's $2.26 million in total receipts. 

This week, Stevens reported $469,680 in cash reserves as of Oct. 17, while Epstein had $63,715 in the bank. 

mburke@detroitnews.com 

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