Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to run for president after announcing earlier this year that he would not run for the Democratic nomination.
The New York Times first reported the development on Thursday, as the billionaire is expected to file paperwork by the Friday deadline to run on the ballot in Alabama in 2020.
Bloomberg has expressed concern about the Democratic Party’s leftward slant, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), two frontrunners in the primary.
His record as mayor, from 2002-13, included support for stop-and-frisk policing and his championing of charter schools, both antithetical to the current Democratic Party.
On Israel, Bloomberg said he had “deep reservations” about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new financial penalties against the regime.
In July 2014, when the Obama administration temporarily halted U.S. airlines from flying to Israel amid Hamas launching from rockets into the Jewish state, Bloomberg took an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv “to express solidarity with the Israeli people and show the world that Israel’s airports remain open and safe,” he wrote then.
Bloomberg is also a major philanthropist in the Jewish and pro-Israel community.
He led an effort to create a technology campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City as a joint effort between Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He personally contributed $100 million to the project.
Were he to enter, Bloomberg would be the 18th Democrat in the race to defeat Republican incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump who, like Bloomberg, is from New York.