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Media mogul Michael Bloomberg decides against third-party bid for US presidency

Published 07/03/2016

Republican candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in West Palm Beach (AP)
Republican candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in West Palm Beach (AP)

Billionaire media mogul and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided against mounting a third-party bid for the White House.

Mr Bloomberg has spent months mulling an independent campaign.

He made his decision official on Monday in a column posted on company's BloombergView website.

A Democrat-turned-Republican-turned independent, Mr Bloomberg had set a mid-March deadline to make a decision about running so as to have enough time to make all 50 state ballots.

"There is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz," Mr Bloomberg wrote. "That is not a risk I can take in good conscience."

The former mayor - who had indicated he would have spent one billion US dollars of his own money on the run - had set a mid-March deadline for his team of advisers to assess the feasibility of mounting a run, believing that waiting longer would imperil his ability to complete the petition process needed to get on the ballots in all 50 states.

Those close to the process said Mr Bloomberg had believed the dominance of Donald Trump among Republicans and the rise of Bernie Sanders amid Democrats had opened a centrist lane for a non-ideological, pragmatic campaign.

But Mrs Clinton's string of recent victories has given her a firm grip on the lead for the Democratic nomination and is blocking Mr Bloomberg's possible path, aides to the mayor said.

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