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Lansing — Although former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's political action committee spent $2.7 million to help Michigan's GOP Gov. Rick Snyder beat Democrat Mark Schauer in 2014, Schauer is endorsing Bloomberg for president.

Bloomberg's campaign announced Monday the endorsement from Schauer, a former U.S. House member and state lawmaker from Battle Creek. In an interview, Schauer argued that Bloomberg gives Democrats the best chance to beat President Donald Trump in November.

"I would ask them to join me in looking forward," Schauer said when asked what he would say to Democrats frustrated by Bloomberg's past support of Snyder. "There is just too much at stake to do otherwise."

Schauer's endorsement came two days after Bloomberg unveiled his "plan to protect American workers," which included raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour from $7.25 and a ban on "right-to-work" laws that prevent labor contracts from requiring non-union workers to pay fees to unions.

Schauer joins a list of well-known Michigan Democrats backing Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman. They include U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who was Democrats' 2010 nominee for governor against Snyder.

Bloomberg skipped Iowa and New Hampshire, the first states to vote in the Democratic presidential nominating process. He has invested heavily in later March 3 Super Tuesday primaries as well as the six March 10 caucus and primary contests, including Michigan.

And Bloomberg has already aired more than $7 million in ads in the state and has set up a strong campaign operation here.

Schauer lost to Snyder by 4 percentage points in 2014. In that race, a Bloomberg funded PAC, the Independence USA PAC, spent about $2.7 million touting Snyder, a businessman who was seeking re-election, according to the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

In a statement, Bloomberg called Schauer "a fierce advocate for working Michiganders."

Schauer said Bloomberg has a track record of creating jobs and has successfully run the largest, most complex city in the country. Bloomberg has taken on the National Rifle Association and big tobacco and worked to address climate change, Schauer added. 

cmauger@detroitnews.com

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