Washington (CNN) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spending $1 million to run a TV ad to boost Newark Mayor Cory Booker in his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Booker is running in the Oct. 16 special election against Republican Steve Lonegan to fill the remainder of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year.
The ad touts Booker, a Democrat, as someone capable of reaching across party lines to get results.
"In a divided Washington a senator to get things done," says the narrator in the ad, touting his bipartisan efforts in Newark to reform its school system, his championing of expanded background checks for gun purchases, a priority for Bloomberg, and working with the private sector to create jobs. The commercial calls Booker "a leader to put progress ahead of partisanship."
The ad buy in the New York City and Philadelphia TV markets is from Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC.
In an interview with the New York Times, which first reported on the commercial, the independent Bloomberg praised Booker for being able to solve problems.
"He changed the zeitgeist from ‘Newark is ungovernable" to ‘Newark is governable," Bloomberg said.
While Booker, in his second term as Mayor of Newark, was considered a lock for the seat, his lead – although still substantial - has shrunk in two most recent polls in the race. Booker now holds 12 and 13 point leads over Lonegan, the former mayor of the northern New Jersey town of Bogota.
Lonegan's campaign is trying to raise money off the news. A Lonegan fundraising email to supporters Monday was titled "Democrat Cory Booker's Allies Panic in Senate Race."