Judge Judy just publicly endorsed someone for president for the first time in her career

Judy Sheindlin is making her political opinions known for the first time.

The highest-paid personality on television wrote an op-ed for USA Today in which she endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president ahead of the 2020 election, making it the first time that she has explicitly revealed her personal political leanings to the public. 

"I realize I am taking a personal and a career risk," the "Judge Judy" star wrote. "I have carefully stayed away from politics for 50 years, except to vote. But times have changed in our country, and I believe the moment has come for me to step out from behind the curtain. I want to speak honestly and from the heart -- regardless of the consequences."

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Sheindlin, 77, said that the former New York City mayor would make for a "no-nonsense president" that the country needs right now.

"Our American family has been fractured in recent years. We’re hopelessly divided, and a bitterly divided family cannot thrive," she said. "The only way we can begin to come together again, I said, is if Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, becomes our next president."

In her piece, Sheindlin acknowledged that Bloomberg has stated that he doesn't intend to run for president this election cycle, but noted that with candidates "rising and falling," Bloomberg could still successfully throw his hat into the ring as "a man of the center."

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LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Judge Judy Sheindlin stars in a one-hour primetime special that will include new cases and takes a look at how the Judge transitioned from New York Family Court Judge to 'Judge Judy,' on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin and her husband attend the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Court will be in session when Judge Judy Sheindlin appears in a one-hour special that will showcase her unique ability to act as a true moral compass and her uncanny ability to ferret out the truth, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Judge Judy Sheindlin (R) and her husband Jerry Sheindlin arrive at the 55th Annual Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 13, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
Judge Judy Sheindlin (right) and husband during Judge Judy Sheindlin Sighting in New York City - June 9, 2007 in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
Judge Judy Sheindlin and husband Judge Jerry Sheindlin (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT)  John Shakespeare cartoon/ illo/ illustration/ toon/ artwork jeff kennet as judge judy, brought to you by coles   cbd thurs Jeff Kennett .jpg (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Look for classic Judyisms as Judge Judy Sheindlin brings her wit and no-nonsense style of justice in a one-hour primetime special, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Court will be in session when Judge Judy Sheindlin appears in a one-hour special that will showcase her unique ability to act as a true moral compass and her uncanny ability to ferret out the truth, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Judge Judy is seen outside 'The Today Show'on September 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Judge Judy Sheindlin (R), star of the US television court reality show 'Judge Judy' arrives with an unidentified guest for at the world premier of 'The Prestige,' at El Capitan Theater in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California, 17 October 2006. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Judge Judy Sheindlin gives kiss of approval to son Adam Levy, 38, after the republican tossed his hat into the Putnam County race for district attorney. Levy's equally proud stepdad, ex-Bronx State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Sheindlin, looks on. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Judge Judy attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
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"An independent, tough-minded businessman, he represents our best chance to bring America together again and begin the long national process of healing," she explained. "Unlike those on the far the right and the far left who use their bully pulpit to divide us, he’s a pragmatist, a man who has shown time and again that he knows how to get things done and cares more about results than ideology. That’s a skill in short supply these days, on both sides."

"I believe that if your political party has lost an election -- either to elect a mayor, governor or president of the United States -- you are obligated to spend the next four years finding the best possible candidate to beat the incumbent," Sheindlin went on. "There used to be a preponderance of folks on the Democratic side who understood the need to elect a centrist candidate, someone who could build coalitions and reach across the aisle. But in this campaign, candidates are fighting to out-left each other with pie-in-the-sky proposals for free money and free education. Everybody gets a thousand dollars, everybody gets free college tuition. Everybody gets, everybody gets, but where does all this getting come from?"

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The television star went on to say that Bloomberg is "the only person out there who seems to understand that screaming at one another gets us nowhere" and recognized that people will probably "vehemently disagree" with her opinions about what will perhaps be the most divisive election in the country's history.

"We all know that spirited debate is part of what makes this country great, and so different from other nations. But let’s keep it civil. As fellow Americans, we should respect each other’s voices," she urged. "If someone expresses an opinion in a thoughtful, well-behaved manner, those who disagree should do so in the same manner. Sadly, that lesson has been utterly forgotten since the last presidential election, and we’re paying the price for it every day."

Sheindlin's endorsement of Bloomberg represents the first time she's made such an announcement in her television career of almost 25 years ("Judge Judy" debuted in 1996). 

Read Judy Sheindlin's full op-ed for USA Today here.

RELATED: Celebrities who support Kamala Harris in the 2020 election:

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2020 Election: Celebrities who support Kamala Harris

Ben Affleck donated donated $2,800 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Jorge Sanz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Eva Longoria donated donated $5,400 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Elizabeth Banks donated donated $5,600 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

Wanda Sykes donated donated $500 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Lily Tomlin donated donated $525 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

America Ferrera donated $250 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage,)

Lee Daniels donated donated $2,800 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Jeffrey Katzenberg donated donated $2,800 to Kamal Harris during the first three months of the year, according to the L.A. Times.

(Photo by Phillip Chin/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 26: Gary Newman attends the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation 24th Annual "Taste For A Cure" Honoring President of Lionsgate Television Group, Sandra Stern at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on April 26, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for UCLA)
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