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Michael Bloomberg Expected to File for Alabama Presidential Primary

Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and philanthropist who decided against running for president in March is reportedly rethinking that decision. 

(CN) – Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and philanthropist who decided against running for president in March, is reportedly rethinking that decision. 

The New York Post first reported Thursday that the 77-year-old billionaire is expected to file for the Alabama Democratic 2020 presidential primary. Alabama’s deadline for filing to enter the race is Friday. 

The decision would keep his options open if he does decide to take on a presidential campaign. 

“Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win,” said Howard Wolfson, a friend and former deputy mayor for Bloomberg, on Twitter Thursday.

“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist,” Wolfson wrote.

Despite the large number of candidates, Wolfson tweeted that Bloomberg “is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”

The change in heart comes after Bloomberg announced in March that he would not run for president.

"While there would be no higher honor than serving as president, my highest obligation as a citizen is to help the country the best way I can, right now,” Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed for his website, Bloomberg News. 

If Bloomberg decides to run, it is unclear if he would disrupt an emerging top-tier of candidates in an already bloated Democratic field.

Recent polls show former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Peter Buttigieg as the top four candidates in a field of 17.

Ideologically a centrist, Bloomberg would fall in line along Biden and Buttigieg, a possibility that could divide more moderate voters.

The former mayor earned political goodwill over the last few years for bringing awareness to climate change through his Beyond Carbon initiative, which seeks to move the U.S. to clean energy over the next 11 years, and by funding gun control initiatives such as Moms Demand Action, a gun control advocacy group.

Warren welcomed Bloomberg to the race on Twitter by sending him a link to her “Calculator for the Billionaires.”

The tool distributed by her campaign shows users how much billionaires, including Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, would pay in taxes to fund her policies for universal childcare, free public college and Medicare for All.

Bloomberg, whom Forbes says clocks in as the eighth richest American with a net worth of about $52 billion, would pay around $3 billion under Warren’s wealth tax.

Sanders’ campaign said U.S. politics does not need another billionaire.

“More billionaires seeking more political power surely isn’t the change America needs,” said Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, in a statement.

At a fundraiser in Boston Thursday night, Biden made no mention of Bloomberg and his campaign released no statement on his possible entry into the race.

Bloomberg dispatched staffers to Alabama to get enough signatures to qualify for the primary there, according to the Post. 

A message for comment was left with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Categories / Government, Politics

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