Advisers to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg are interviewing potential staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, signaling a potential 2020 presidential run for the billionaire, CNBC reported Friday.
Sources told CNBC that Bloomberg associate Kevin Sheekey has had meetings with potential hires in the early contest states in the primaries that set the tone for the rest of the race.
“Bloomberg has the money and smart people around him, but they’re preparing to build a larger campaign apparatus to compete against the other 2020 candidates if he decides to run,” a source told the news outlet.
Bloomberg is far from the only person who is reportedly snapping up staffers. Confidants of Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE, who has also not yet announced a presidential bid, are meeting with possible campaign aides, The Hill reported Thursday. Presidential hopefuls, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.) have also reportedly begun hiring or placing staffers in key states like Iowa.
If Bloomberg were to join the Democratic race, he'd be facing off against a multitude of Democrats. The New York independent has ruled out a bid outside of a major party.
"In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President," he said in a statement in January. "That's a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can't afford to run it now."
"We must remain united, and we must not allow any candidate to divide or fracture us. The stakes couldn’t be higher," he added in the statement.