By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota drew a contender in the 2020 race for the White House Thursday night.

Mike Bloomberg is running fourth among Democrats in the latest average of national polls. The former New York mayor is, like President Donald Trump, investing heavily in Minnesota. Trump almost won the state in 2016.

“We can’t take states like Minnesota for granted because our margin of victory here was, we won, was only by 44,000 votes, and that’s why we’re not waiting to organize,” Bloomberg said.

He recently opened an office in downtown Minneapolis — the first of eight campaign offices he will have in the state.

Campaign finance filings show that Bloomberg — who is worth an estimated $60 billion — has spent a quarter of billion dollars in just two months — mostly on campaign ads that show he is already aiming at the general election

“Let me make it clear. I am running to defeat Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said.

Mike Bloomberg (credit: CBS)

He is just the latest presidential candidate to campaign in Minnesota. Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced her run in her home state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had her biggest campaign crowd to date in St. Paul this summer. And Sen. Bernie Sanders has visited repeatedly.

And so has President Trump, whose national campaign spokesperson says he will be back.

“Safe to say we’ll be back in Minnesota. We are absolutely investing in the state, and we are making a heavy play for the state of Minnesota,” spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany said.

Unlike Bloomberg, some moderate Democrats have avoided Minnesota, and that almost certainly has to be chalked up to the popularity of Klobuchar.

“If you don’t vote for Amy, vote for me,” Bloomberg said.

Joe Biden has not campaigned here, and Pete Buttigieg has only had a private fundraiser.

Esme Murphy

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