Exclusive: Mike Was Close to Backing Lopez

The Post’s series on Margarita Lopez‘s support for a Scientology-linked health program was, of course, not exactly good news for her campaign.

But Lopez’s supporters are particularly displeased by, and suspicious of, the timing:

The news broke just in time, it appears, to scuttle serious discussions between Lopez’s campaign and Mayor Bloomberg, who has long had a better relationship with Lopez than with virtually any other local politician.

Bloomberg, The Politicker has learned, was close to endorsing Lopez.

The straight, impassive white billionaire and the vocal, emotional Puerto Rican lesbian make something of an odd couple, but the endorsement would have been a real coup for Lopez and would have propelled her well into the first rank of candidates.

Now an endorsement would add a Scientology link to the slow-burning fire over his Independence Party support.

Now Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser says: “We don’t expect to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary.”

While the Scientology support was not exactly a secret — Lopez contributors listed the Church of Scientology as their employer — Lopez’s backers are left to wonder who, if anyone, passed such well-timed research on to the Post.