WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the money and name recognition to shake up the Democratic presidential race, but he will face huge hurdles to the nomination if he makes the leap to become a formal candidate.
The billionaire media mogul is laying the groundwork for a possible candidacy and kept his options open by filing paperwork to run in the Democratic primary in Alabama, which has an early deadline for ballot qualification.
The decision to run would be an about-face for Bloomberg, 77, who announced in March that he would not seek the White House.
Ranked by Forbes as the eighth-richest American with an estimated worth of $53.4 billion, his potential bid drew immediate criticism that he was just another wealthy businessman trying to buy an election.
Bloomberg also will face questions about his record as a three-term mayor of New York, particularly from the Democratic Party’s vocal progressive wing, and about why he is needed in a race that still has 17 candidates vying to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November 2020.