Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he is formally changing his voter registration to Democrat, a possible step toward running for president in 2020.
Bloomberg, 76, has been a political independent since abandoning his Republican Party registration in 2007. He has said he is considering running for president as a Democrat — making this one of his most overt moves to date toward a possible White House campaign.
“Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat — I had been a member for most of my life — because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs,” Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City as a Republican in 2001 and re-elected in 2005. He announced in 2007 he was changing his registration to be unaffiliated with a party and won a third four-year term as an independent in 2009.
The former mayor considered running for president as an independent in 2016 but ultimately endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost to Republican Donald Trump. Bloomberg told the New York Times in September he now believes that only a major-party candidate can win the presidency, and if he were to run in 2020, it would be as a Democrat.
The change in party affiliation comes after Bloomberg decided to spend millions in the 2018 election to help elect Democrats. According to the New York Times, he’s approved allocating at least $80 million, with the bulk supporting the Democratic campaign to take control of the U.S. House. His advisers told the Washington Post this month, amid the contentious fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that he would spend an additional $20 million to help Democrats retake the U.S. Senate.