NEW YORK: Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the crowded race to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, US media reported on Thursday (Nov 7).
The 77-year-old Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork in at least one state this week declaring himself a candidate, according to multiple outlets including The New York Times.
The billionaire Bloomberg had said back in March he wouldn't run, but has been toying for weeks with the idea of seeking the White House after all, according to an advisor, who was quoted as saying he had yet to make a final decision.
He has, though, sent members of staff to Alabama to gather the necessary signatures required to register for that state's primary ahead of the deadline Friday in anticipation of a bid, the reports said.
The move is the first clear sign that Bloomberg, long touted as a possible US presidential candidate, is getting ready to battle it out to take on President Donald Trump.
Bloomberg, one of the richest people in the United States, ran the Big Apple from 2001 to 2013.
He has switched between the Republican and Democratic parties over years and also served as an independent mayor.
He is perceived as a centrist figure close to Wall Street who views Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, two of the frontrunners, as too left-wing.
"He thinks (leader) Joe Biden is weak and Sanders and Warren can't win," the New York Post quoted a source familiar with Bloomberg's plans as saying.
His entry would bloat an already crowded field of contenders, with 17 candidates currently vying for the right to take on Trump as the Democratic nominee.