Billionaire businessman and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential run on Sunday, after weeks of indicating that he was poised to embark upon an official campaign.
"We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” wrote Bloomberg on his website. "He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.”
Bloomberg considered a presidential run in 2016, though he decided against entering the race. He currently serves as CEO of the financial services and media company he founded, Bloomberg LP, but has suggested that he would sell the company or put it in a blind trust were he to pursue a run for the presidency.
Because of his late addition to the race, Politico reports that Bloomberg will focus his campaign on the 15 Super Tuesday states, rather than Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the states with the earliest caucus and primary dates. Bloomberg has vowed that, like Trump, he’d forego a presidential salary if elected, but he also won’t be accepting donations during his run. It’s a move that seems like it could keep him off of the all-important debate stage, as it’s required that candidates reach 200,000 donations and poll at at least 4 percent.
He served as mayor of New York City for three terms, from 2002 to 2013. A Democrat before his political career, he was first elected mayor as a Republican, became an independent for his third term of office, and rejoined the Democratic Party last year. As a politician and philanthropist, Bloomberg has championed issues including the climate crisis and gun control. But some of his policies as mayor are likely to be controversial among Democratic primary goers—particularly the infamous stop-and-frisk initiative, which found police searching 700,000 New Yorkers, largely innocently black and Latino men, during his mayorship. After years of defending the policy, the 77-year-old Bloomberg apologized for it last Sunday during an appearance at a Harlem church.
"I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead,” Bloomberg’s announcement continued. "As a candidate, I’ll rally a broad and diverse coalition of Americans to win. And as president, I have the skills to fix what is broken in our great nation. And there is a lot broken.”
Though not the first billionaire to join the 2020 presidential race, Bloomberg’s run makes him the wealthiest presidential candidate in American history. With a net worth of $52 billion, Forbes lists him as the 9th richest person on earth.
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