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Bloomberg’s flirtation with 2020 run has yet to reach Minnesota

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
John Locher | AP file

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new consideration of a presidential run has yet to result in concrete steps in Minnesota.

According to a state party official, Bloomberg hasn’t asked the DFL Party to get on the March primary ballot in Minnesota. He would have until Dec. 10 to approach the party, which will submit its ballot slate by year’s end.

Bloomberg has had a Minnesota presence through groups the billionaire businessman funded that are involved in gun control and climate policy debates. The political arm of the Everytown for Gun Safety was active in several DFL races in 2018, where the party flipped many legislative seats and control of the state House.

Bloomberg is scheduled to visit Minnesota next month for a speech at the University of Minnesota. A school spokeswoman said Friday that no determination has been made about the event should Bloomberg become a candidate.

In 2008, supporters of Bloomberg courted Minnesota's Independence Party — the former political home of ex-Gov. Jesse Ventura — for possible campaign help. Bloomberg didn’t wind up running.

Four years later, some IP officials publicly pressed Bloomberg to run. He passed on a 2012 campaign, too.

The IP is now known as the Independence-Alliance Party. It is affiliated with other alternative parties but is no longer a major party in Minnesota, so it doesn’t have automatic ballot access.

Bloomberg served two terms as the New York City mayor as a Republican.

Philip Fuehrer, the chairman of the state Independence Alliance, said Bloomberg is an attractive option for 2020.

“He certainly has experience and knowledge and the wherewithal to make a run. I would like to see him perhaps run as an independent,” Fuehrer said. “I think we need to have more choices in the country and he could provide that.”

While Fuehrer said Bloomberg could be appealing to many in his party, he wouldn’t be able to count on formal party backing if he opted for a Democratic primary run.