Michael Bloomberg announces run for president, visits Norfolk, buys ads in Virginia

Nearly $50,000 worth of TV ads purchased for first week

ROANOKE, Va. – As Democratic presidential hopefuls are dropping out, Michael Bloomberg announced over the weekend he’s in. The former New York City Mayor said he’s the one who can defeat President Trump.

10 News Political Analyst Ed Lynch said even with Bloomberg footing the entire bill himself and not accepting donations, he’s not sure Bloomberg can pull it off.

“Working people embraced Donald Trump because he was saying things they had not heard anybody articulate on their side for a long time. I’m not sure there is room for two billionaires doing the same thing,” Lynch said. “I think that’s going to be tough but when you’re willing to put hundreds of millions of dollars into your own campaign that automatically makes you a formidable candidate.”

Many have questioned Bloomberg for months on whether he was going to run. He wasted no time after the announcement campaigning, visiting a Norfolk cafe on Monday afternoon, just a day after the announcement.

“We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” Bloomberg said. "He is an existential threat to our country, our values and to our national security."

Bloomberg made his political mark as New York City’s mayor following the September 11 terror attacks. He’s most famous for the controversial stop and frisk policy, which he’s now apologizing for.

“I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand that back then the full impact the stops were having on the black and Latino communities. I now see we could and should have acted sooner," Bloomberg said.

His commercials hit the airwaves Monday, and he expects to spend nearly $50,000 in our area over the next week; however, Lynch questions his effectiveness in our area.

“I don’t really see him resonating with people in Southwest Virginia very well. He, first of all, is one of the strongest advocates in the country for more gun control," Lynch said. “And given the fact that we have one county after the other in our region declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary, that is really going to hurt him with Southwest Virginians.”

Bloomberg has run under multiple parties during his different campaigns.

“It’s also odd for someone to get into the presidential race at this late date. But also somebody who has not been a Democrat for very long. He was a Republican as mayor and then an independent and a Democrat before. He is going to undergoing some tough questioning," Lynch said.

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