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POST TIME: 10 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
US election 2020
Michael Bloomberg joins race for White House
BBC, London

Michael Bloomberg joins race for White House

Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has signalled he will join the race to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for US president. He has filed paperwork ahead of a deadline for the Democratic primary election in Alabama. The move is a necessary step to join the race to be the party’s candidate to take on President Donald Trump in next year’s election. Mr Bloomberg, 77, has not formally confirmed his candidacy.

However, spokesman Jason Schechter told US media that an announcement “could come as early as next week”. The businessman is said to be concerned the current Democratic contenders would not pose a strong enough challenge to Mr Trump in 2020. He will be entering a crowded field as one of 17 candidates hoping to be chosen as the Democratic nominee. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the frontrunner, followed by senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The tycoon had strongly hinted that he would run, with his adviser Howard Wolfson releasing a statement on Thursday evening saying they wanted to “ensure that Trump is defeated” in the election next year. “But Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of [Democratic] candidates is not well positioned to do that,” he added.

His comments came after months of debate over wealth inequality in the US, with Mr Sanders and  Warren announcing plans for steep tax rises for billionaires. Unveiling his tax proposals in September, Mr Sanders said: “Billionaires should not exist.”

Bloomberg is estimated to be worth $52bn. On Friday, President Trump taunted  Bloomberg by saying there was “nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael”.  Bloomberg filed his papers in Alabama later the same day. Bloomberg is said to be fully aware such a belated entry to the race presents challenges in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where other Democratic contenders have been campaigning for months.