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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 selects Gina Raimondo for Commerce chief: reports 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics NFL, politics dominate 2020 ratings 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 PatrickBiden faces pressure to take action on racial justice issues Biden selects Susan Rice to lead Domestic Policy Council, McDonough for Veterans Affairs Harrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment 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 BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries 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 SandersBiden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBiden to tap Rohit Chopra to lead CFPB, Gensler for SEC chair: reports Biden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector MORE (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits Buttigieg confirmation hearing slated for Thursday James Murdoch predicts 'a reckoning' for media after Capitol riot 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 convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT 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.