Michael Bloomberg filed paperwork to run in Alabama’s 2020 Democratic primary

Michael Bloomberg.

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Michael Bloomberg.
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Tim P. Whitby/Getty

  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary field and filed paperwork for the Alabama primary on Friday, CBS News reported.
  • Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist who served as mayor for three terms, openly floated running for president late last year but took himself out of the running in March.
  • Bloomberg planned to file paperwork for the Democratic primaries in several states with upcoming filing deadlines, including Alabama and New Hampshire, The Times reported.
  • Citing sources close to Bloomberg, The Times reported that he has become increasingly concerned over former Vice President Joe Biden’s lackluster fundraising and slipping performance in the polls.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entrance into the 2020 Democratic primary field and filed paperwork for the Alabama primary at the end of this week, CBS News reported.

Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and media mogul who served as Mayor for three terms, openly floated running for president late last year but took himself out of the running in March.

He announced on March 5 that he would be sitting out the presidential race to help fund Democratic candidates in downballot races and give money to causes combating climate change.

“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 a statement. “That’s what I’ll do, including the launch of a new effort called Beyond Carbon.”

In the statement, he said Democrats shouldn’t nominate a candidate who would be too extreme to beat President Donald Trump but that he didn’t want to further split up the vote in the already crowded primary.

“As I’ve thought about a possible presidential campaign, the choice before me has become clear,” Bloomberg wrote. “Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record, knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination?”

According to The Times, Bloomberg planned to file paperwork for the Democratic primaries in states with upcoming filing deadlines, including Alabama and New Hampshire. As The Times and Politico pointed out, Bloomberg hasn’t officially announced a decision to run but filed to ensure he will be on the ballot in every primary state if he does run.

Bloomberg will have to work quickly to get his campaign off the ground just three months out from the Iowa caucus on February 2 and New Hampshire primary on February 9, but he has the luxury of being able to self-fund his campaign.

Citing sources close to Bloomberg, The Times reported that in recent months, he’s become increasingly concerned over former Vice President Joe Biden‘s lackluster fundraising and slipping performance in the polls.

He’s also worried about the rise and massive grassroots fundraising of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two leading Democratic candidates who have both proposed hefty taxes on billionaires and greater regulation on big business.

Warren, in particular, has recently publicly tangled with billionaires such as Bill Gates, Leon Cooperman, and Jamie Dimon over her plan to implement a wealth tax of 2% on Americans with assets over $50 million and 6% of those with assets of $1 billion and over.

“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated – but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that,” the Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson told The Times and other outlets.

“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.”

With his relatively high name recognition and billions of dollars in wealth, Bloomberg could disrupt the current state of the Democratic primary.

While his late entrance makes him unlikely to win the entire primary, he could split the vote between the moderate candidates and knock Biden off his position as the centrist standard-bearer in the race.

Despite Bloomberg’s prior government experience, billionaires haven’t been welcomed into the Democratic primary with open arms. The billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who entered the race in July, has been attacked by his fellow candidates for “buying” his way into the race.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was met with extreme disdain and mockery earlier this year when he made the rounds on cable news floating a run for president as an independent. Other billionaires, including Disney CEO Bob Iger and Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack, have also considered running for president, but neither jumped in the race.

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