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Bloomberg taps campaign Magic in Johnson ad

10/26/2005 - NBA Los Angeles Lakers

NEW YORK -- In New York City's mayoral race, out-of-towner Magic Johnson is playing on Mike's team.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a new campaign advertisement Tuesday featuring the former NBA great endorsing Bloomberg's record.

Johnson lives in the Los Angeles area, but the ad cites his impact on New York through investments in Harlem, where he helped develop the neighborhood's first Starbucks and first multiplex cinema.

"When I opened Magic Johnson's theater on 125th Street, a lot of people said it wouldn't fly, but we proved them wrong," Johnson says in the ad, according to a transcript provided by Bloomberg's campaign. "I love New York -- and I like what Mike Bloomberg is about. He gets things done for every neighborhood."

Bloomberg, a Republican seeking a second term in next month's election, issued a statement also praising Johnson's work starting a national chain of home loan centers and fighting for HIV/AIDS prevention and health care education.

Johnson, who announced he was HIV positive in 1991, helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five championships during his pro basketball career.

Subsequently, he's built a business empire including movie theaters, fitness clubs, restaurants, shopping centers and a bank. In 2002, he was named one of Fortune magazine's 50 "Most Powerful Black Executives."