Bloomberg files paperwork to run for president

Bloomberg files paperwork to run for president
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Michael BloombergMichael BloombergWake up, America — see what's coming Bloomberg urges court to throw out lawsuit by former campaign staffers Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify 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 PatrickIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race 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 BidenTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Susan Rice: Trump picks Putin over troops 'even when it comes to the blood of American service members' Does Donald Trump even want a second term? 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 SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSusan Rice sees stock rise in Biden VP race The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote 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 John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties 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.