Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday that his presidential campaign is opening eight offices throughout Minnesota and will have 50 employees in the next two weeks.
“I have an interest in making sure this state remains blue,” Bloomberg said in an interview, minutes before he spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the opening of his Minnesota campaign headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.
To that end, Bloomberg said, he intends to keep those offices open through the general election in November even if he is not the Democratic nominee. The goal would be to defeat President Donald Trump and to assist Minnesota Democrats running for Congress and other important offices.
Minnesota’s Democratic presidential primary is March 3; early voting started last Friday. Bloomberg’s retinue of paid staffers will dwarf that of his Democratic rivals save for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the home-state senator whose presidential campaign is headquartered not far away in northeast Minneapolis.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg all have one or more campaign workers on the ground in Minnesota.
Bloomberg’s two campaign visits to Minnesota this month also put him well ahead of his competition in terms of recent local appearances. A billionaire who is funding his own campaign, Bloomberg is pursuing an unconventional campaign strategy that has him putting little emphasis on early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where the other candidates are spending most of their time right now.
In a speech of about 15 minutes at the Warehouse District office, Bloomberg said his top priorities as president would be affordable health care, reducing income inequality through changes in tax policy and job opportunities, and a strong public education system nationwide.
He focused much of his speech on critiques of Trump. “We can’t afford another four years of what’s going on in Washington,” Bloomberg said.