Bloomberg files paperwork for Alabama’s Democratic primary

Former New York mayor has yet to formally announce bid for the White House

Michael Bloomberg is poised to enter the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Photograph: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg is poised to enter the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Photograph: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

 

Former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg filed the paperwork required for Alabama’s Democratic primary on Friday in hte first step toward a potential 2020 presidential bid.

The billionaire businessman submitted the documents in Alabama to meet the state’s early filing deadline of Friday, although he has not announced a formal decision to enter the race.

Several other states, including New Hampshire, have filing deadlines as early as next week. Alabama’s Democratic Party said Mr Bloomberg qualified for the March 3rd ballot.

Mr Bloomberg indicated on Thursday he is again considering a presidential run, with an adviser saying he is concerned that the current crop of Democratic candidates will not be able to defeat President Donald Trump.

Mr Bloomberg (77) had considered a run earlier this year but decided instead to support Democratic efforts to regain control in Washington.

Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson said the businessman would run on his record of serving as mayor of the nation’s largest city, building his own company and contributing to global causes through his philanthropic activities.

“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,” Mr Wolfson said in a statement.

Mr Trump said Friday that Mr Bloomberg’s candidacy would hurt the chances for former vice president Joe Biden.

“He’s not going to do well, I think he’s going to hurt Biden actually,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “There’s nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael.”

Mr Bloomberg’s possible entry into the race comes as the Democratic field is coalescing around four candidates, none of whom has a clear path to victory.

Mr Biden entered as the front-runner, but has lagged in raising money and at 76, has faced questions about his age, verbal gaffes and other out-of-step comments.

Elizabeth Warren (70) and Bernie Sander ( 78), who is recovering from a heart attack, are avowed foes of Wall Street and the wealthy, and have sparked concerns that their policies pull the party too far to the left.

Pete Buttigieg (37), the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is rising in popularity, but faces questions about his youth and lack of political experience.

Ms Warren tweeted “Welcome to the race,” and suggested that Bloomberg consult her wealth-tax calculator for billionaires.

On Friday, Mr Biden also said he welcomed Bloomberg to the race. “Michael is a solid guy, and let’s see where it goes,” Mr Biden told reporters in Concord, New Hampshire. He added that he isn’t worried about his own standing in the race: “Last polls I looked at I’m pretty far ahead.” – Bloomberg