ST. CROIX — Retired NBA Superstar from St. Croix, Timothy Duncan, has endorsed Michael Bloomberg for the President of the United States.
In a video ad posted on YouTube today, Mr. Duncan praised the presidential candidate for helping the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and said it was the main reason he decided to endorse him.
"I'm Tim Duncan, born and raised in the Virgin Islands, and I'm supporting Mike Bloomberg because of his work in 2017 to help the U.S. Virgin Islands recover after we were hit by two Category 5 hurricanes. There was widespread destruction, food and water were running low, the people of the islands needed help. Mike and his Tim, among many others, acted fast to aid in feeding, clothing and getting people to safety. And in this, Mike Bloomberg showed his true compassion for helping those in need," Mr. Duncan says in the ad.
The NBA legend was heavily involved in the territory's recovery following the 2017 storms. In fact he did not only raise funds and send supplies to the territory to aid hurricane victims, Mr. Duncan was on the ground, in the action, carrying items, packing boxes and, on a lighter note, taking pictures with Virgin Islanders honored to be in his presence.
Mr. Bloomberg said in December that he would open a campaign office in the territory, and the Consortium has learned that the presidential candidate has been building a team on all three islands. The billionaire, said to be worth between $50-$60 billion, has used his vast wealth to build a respectable campaign around the U.S. mainland, which led to a surge in the most recent polls that saw him qualifying for tonight's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Mike believes Americans in the territories are often overlooked and have an important voice and role to play in this election," Dan Kanninen, Mr. Bloomberg's state director, said in a statement.
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett has also endorsed Mr. Bloomberg.
Political analysts have said the move to open an office in the territory is uncommon for primary candidates, however Mr. Bloomberg's campaign has been notably nontraditional from the start. The USVI has 13 delegates; a small number, but during a heated primary election battle every delegate counts.
The territory's caucus is scheduled for June 6.