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Bloomberg files paperwork to run for president

Bloomberg files paperwork to run for president
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Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's domestic and global challenges on COVID vaccinations Press: Even Jeff Bezos should pay income taxes What the Democrats should be doing to reach true bipartisanship MORE is inching closer to a 2020 presidential run, filing an official statement of candidacy on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The filing isn’t a definitive sign that Bloomberg will seek the Democratic presidential nomination next year and an aide to the former New York City mayor told The Hill that he has not yet made a final decision on whether to launch a campaign.

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But, the aide added, filing a statement of candidacy with the FEC was “another step towards running.”

The filing is likely to stir consternation in the Democratic primary field, which has seen its number of candidates increase in recent weeks. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court sides with oil companies in Baltimore case| White House environmental justice advisers express opposition to nuclear, carbon capture projects | Biden administration to develop performance standards for federal buildings Approving Kristen Clarke's nomination should be a no-brainer To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE announced last week that he would mount an eleventh-hour bid for the party’s nomination, and Bloomberg has already taken steps to get on the ballot in a handful of states, including Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee.  

Both Bloomberg and Patrick ruled out presidential campaigns last winter with Patrick citing family as his reason for punting on a White House run and Bloomberg deciding against a campaign after coming to the conclusion that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Biden appoints veteran housing, banking regulator as acting FHFA chief Iran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' MORE would prove to be too formidable a primary opponent.

That calculus has changed in recent months, however, as Biden has seen his once-clear frontrunner status erode. Polls currently show a fluid race between the top four candidates: Biden, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' On The Money: Biden to fire FHFA director after Supreme Court removes restriction | Yellen pleads with Congress to raise debt ceiling MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Overnight Health Care: CDC panel meets on vaccines and heart inflammation | Health officials emphasize vaccine is safe | Judge rules Missouri doesn't have to implement Medicaid expansion Democrats urge Biden to extend moratorium on student loan payments MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE.

Some Democratic leaders and party elites have grown anxious in recent months about the field of candidates, worrying that no one in the current lineup will be able to defeat President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE in 2020. Bloomberg’s advisers have made the argument that there is still room in the primary contest for a moderate that they see as more electable than the current slate of candidates.

While he has yet to make a final decision on a presidential run, Bloomberg has already started spending money on 2020. He is launching a $100 million digital ad campaign attacking Trump in crucial battleground states and is expected to spend between $15 million and $20 million on voter registration efforts.

If he ultimately decides to mount a bid for the White House, Bloomberg is expected to forego a campaign in the four early primary and caucus states that have historically defined presidential nominating contests and will instead double down on delegate-rich Super Tuesday states like California.

“If we run, we are confident we can win in states voting on Super Tuesday and beyond, where we will start on an even footing,” Howard Wolfson, a longtime adviser to Bloomberg, said earlier this month.

Updated at 1:49 p.m.