Bloomberg files to place name on ballot in Texas

Hours before the top 10 Democratic White House candidates face off in the fifth round of their party’s presidential nomination debates, potential contender Mike Bloomberg filed to place his name on the ballot in Texas.

While Bloomberg filed on Wednesday, aides noted that the former New York City mayor and billionaire business and media mogul isn’t officially on the ballot in Texas until his name is certified by the secretary of state.

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Texas is now the fifth state where Bloomberg has filed to place his name on the ballot. Two weeks ago he filed in Alabama, an hour ahead of that state’s filing deadline. Last week he filed in Arkansas and Michigan. He filed Tuesday in Georgia.

Texas is the second most populous of the 14 states – following California – that hold primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday, which will be held on March 3, directly following the contests in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and California.

Aides have said that if Bloomberg declares his candidacy, he’ll skip the early voting states. Instead, they say, Bloomberg would likely be blanketing the airwaves with TV commercials in the delegate-rich states that would vote in March and beyond.

Bloomberg aides say an announcement on his 2020 plans could possibly come as early as the end of this week.

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Bloomberg – the former Republican-turned-independent during his three consecutive terms as New York City mayor – changed his voter registration to Democrat last year. He flirted with a presidential bid early this year but ruled out a run in March.

But his top advisers said earlier this month that Bloomberg changed his mind because he worried the current crop of 2020 Democratic White House contenders were not “well-positioned” to beat President Trump next November.