Billionaire business magnate and former New York City Mayor and Westchester estate owner Michael Bloomberg said late Monday he has decided not to launch a third-party presidential campaign in 2016.
"Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don’t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so," Bloomberg wrote in a commentary posted on bloomberg.com.
"But when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states -- but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency," Bloomberg wrote.
Bloomberg, whose Westchester estate is located in North Salem, told the Financial Times in February that he was considering all options when it comes to running for president. Bloomberg called the current campaign an outrage and an insult to voters.
The two current frontrunners in the race -- Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton -- also have residences in Westchester. Trump owns the Seven Springs estate in Bedford, as well as golf clubs in Briarcliff Manor and Hopewell Junction in Dutchess. Clinton has lived in Chappaqua since 1999.
Bloomberg said Monday the possibility a third-party candidacy could help the Republican nominee win the election played a big part in his decision not to run.
"As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience," Bloomberg wrote.
"I have known Mr. Trump casually for many years, and we have always been on friendly terms. I even agreed to appear on 'The Apprentice' -- twice. But he has run the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears. Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, appealed to our 'better angels.' Trump appeals to our worst impulses."
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