Bloomberg officially enters 2020 presidential race

Michael Bloomberg after giving a speech in honor of New York artist Janet Ruttenberg on September 13, 2013 in New York
Michael Bloomberg after giving a speech in honor of New York artist Janet Ruttenberg on September 13, 2013 in New York
Julie Angel Saad / Shutterstock

Bloomberg officially enters 2020 presidential race

The announcement coincided with news about the billionaire's charitable giving
November 25, 2019

Former New York City mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg officially announced yesterday that he’s entering the 2020 presidential race. In the run-up to the announcement, he has apologized for his support of stop-and-frisk policies as mayor and declared plans to spend $100 million on online ads attacking President Donald Trump.

Coinciding with the announcement is news from his foundation, which, according to a recent tax filing, awarded $445 million in dozens of grants worldwide – though his giving to local organizations seems to be on the decline, the New York Post reports. His charitable dollars went to local institutions such as The Shed, a cultural organization housed in the Bloomberg Building that received $20 million, and the Metropolitan Opera, which got a $570,000 grant. A spokeswoman for Bloomberg Philanthropies said that New York City organizations may receive grants from Bloomberg himself or his company as well. 

The tax filing also highlights the size of another major initiative for the billionaire: combatting smoking. His foundation spent more than $100 million last year to encourage people to stop smoking. The issue was a highlight of his tenure as mayor, and he has continued to spearhead it as Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $160 million to anti-vaping efforts in September. This puts him in stark contrast with Trump, who has walked back his proposed ban on e-cigarettes.

Bloomberg’s late entrance into the Democratic primary will be a liability, though he does have the advantage of name recognition. But that may also be his undoing: City & State noted that New York City mayors have historically had a tough time moving on to higher office.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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