Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is actively preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary, people briefed on his plans told The New York Times on Thursday.
According to the report, Bloomberg is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in at least one state with an early filing deadline.
An adviser said that the Jewish billionaire businessman has dispatched staffers to Alabama to gather signatures to qualify for the primary there. Though Alabama does not hold an early primary, it has a Friday deadline for candidates to formally enter the race.
Bloomberg called a number of prominent Democrats on Thursday to tell them he was seriously considering the race, including former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, according to The New York Times.
Reid said in a brief interview that Bloomberg had not explicitly said he was running for president but that the implication of the call had been clear.
Bloomberg previously announced in March that he would not run for president in 2020, due to what he cited as the “difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”
He had been openly contemplating a Democratic White House bid since late last year. He registered as a Democrat in October of 2018.
Advisers to Bloomberg told The New York Times he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.
According to the report, Bloomberg’s decision in March was shaped in part by former Vice President Joe Biden’s strong popularity with Democratic primary voters. Biden’s position in the race is evidently no longer imposing enough to keep Bloomberg at bay, however.
As of late afternoon on Thursday, Bloomberg had not spoken with Biden about his updated plans, an adviser to Bloomberg said.