Bloomberg re-registers as a Democrat amidst 2020 speculation

Bloomberg+re-registers+as+a+Democrat+amidst+2020+speculation

Alexandra Puga

Former Republican mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg announced through an Instagram post on Oct. 10 that he has switched party affiliation and re-registered as a Democrat. The post, sent out to his 177 thousand followers, read, “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 was a Democrat for a majority of his life until he launched his political career in 2001. He later won the race for mayor of New York City, serving as a Republican until 2007, when he officially became an Independent. He finished his three terms as mayor as such before stepping down in 2013 to be succeeded by current Mayor Bill de Blasio. Despite being an Independent, he spoke at the 2016 Democratic Convention in hopes of informing people of the threats a Republican White House could lead to.

In 2016, Bloomberg considered running for president as an Independent, but instead endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the past, Bloomberg has shared his doubts that an Independent candidate could become president, leading many to believe this was the driving force behind the shift. University sophomore Brooke Salamone shared, “I heard that former mayor Bloomberg switched to the Democratic Party. I think it is super interesting to hear this.” Salamone continued, “I cannot confidently say if I feel this will cause a political shift but I will say it’s definitely a big move in our political climate today.”

Another University sophomore Julia Rourke stated “Personally, I wouldn’t vote for him due to the fact that I am too liberal to vote for someone who was too ashamed to identify as a democrat or was never fully committed to the party.” She continued, “I also don’t know his current standings on political issues but based on the past, I wouldn’t vote for him.”

While he has previously hinted a 2020 presidential run, on Sept. 17 he clarified the only way he would run is as a Democrat, stating “I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today.” He shared his view on the Democratic Party, as well, suggesting it needs to step up and act against “those who threaten our Constitution.”

Bloomberg continues to be a philanthropist, providing funding to left wing initiatives that tackle issues such as public health, education, and climate change. He also gifted the House of Representatives and the Senate a donation of $100 million, according to the New York Times.

The announcement comes as midterm elections near, and campaign speculation becomes increasingly present. New potential candidates are announced at rapid rates, and the country has seen a sudden a spike in voter registration ahead of Election Day. Although a majority of current University students were not of legal age to vote during the former mayor’s term in office, it is evident that students today are more politically active than ever, and will continue to shape the future of politics.  

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Flickr/Ralph Alswang