Mike’s switch a hint that he’ll run for Prez in 2020

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY DAVID BOROFF

Wel­come back, Mr. Bloomberg!

For the first time since 2001, for­mer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a reg­is­tered Demo­crat — a move that may her­ald a pres­i­den­tial run in 2020 un­der that party’s ban­ner.

The bil­lion­aire phi­lan­thropist, 76 (photo), posted a photo of him­self re-reg­is­ter­ing on Wed­nes­day, writ­ing that Dems pro­vide “the checks and bal­ances our na­tion so badly needs."

The busi­ness­man-turned-politi­cian had fa­mously aban­doned the Demo­cratic Party in 2001 to run for mayor as a Repub­li­can — a switch he mostly made to en­hance his then long-shot chances in a race that was crowded with left-lean­ing can­di­dates in a his­tor­i­cally blue city. Af­ter his sur­prise win, he went on to serve for three terms — en­gi­neer­ing a one-time ex­cep­tion for him­self to get around the two-term cap — and in 2007 he broke with the Repub­li­can Party to reg­is­ter as an in­de­pen­dent.

Spec­u­la­tion swirled at the time that Bloomberg was leav­ing the GOP to set him­self up as a third-party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2008.

The same pres­i­den­tial ru­mors arose in 2016, but Bloomberg stayed on the side­lines of the race, en­dors­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton, the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee who went on to lose to Don­ald Trump.

Since 2013, Bloomberg has funded and cre­ated nu­mer­ous char­i­ties, some with po­lit­i­cal lean­ings such as Every­town for Gun Safety, a non­profit he started and largely fi­nances that aims to fos­ter gun con­trol laws in the U.S.

On Wed­nes­day, Bloomberg said he had been a Demo­crat for al­most all his life — and it was time to re­turn to the fold.

"At key points in U.S. his­tory, one of the two par­ties has served as a bul­wark against those who threaten our Con­sti­tu­tion," he wrote. "Two years ago at the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion, I warned of those threats."

Two months ago, re­ports sur­faced that Bloomberg was ready to wade back into pol­i­tics again — as a chal­lenger to Trump if the Repub­li­can runs again in 2020.

“I'm work­ing on this Nov. 6 elec­tion, and af­ter that I'll take a look at it," he told The New York Times last month.

He also added that "it's im­pos­si­ble to con­ceive” run­ning as a Repub­li­can.

“That's not to say I'm with the Demo­cratic Party on ev­ery­thing, but I don't see how you could pos­si­bly run as a Repub­li­can,” he told the news­pa­per. “So if you ran, yeah, you'd have to run as a Demo­crat.”

Bloomberg vowed ear­lier this year to spend $80 mil­lion to help the Democrats take con­trol of the House dur­ing the crit­i­cal elec­tions next month. He said last week he would give $20 mil­lion to the main Demo­cratic Se­nate su­per PAC, ac­cord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post.

“Repub­li­cans in Congress have had al­most two years to prove they could gov­ern re­spon­si­bly. They failed,” he said in June.

The dead­line to reg­is­ter to vote in New York State is Fri­day.

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