Michael Bloomberg is reviewing a plan to run for president.
The former mayor of New York City, who was once elected to this position as a Republican, is testing the waters for an independent campaign for the White House, reports The New York Times.
Advisors are in the process of researching whether or not the billionnaire, who has supported gun control, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage, could possibly win in the 2016 election.
He has until March to decide whether or not he will run. Edward G. Rendell, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told The New York Times that this decision will rest on which candidates secure the Democratic and Republican nominations.
“Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders,” said Rendell, a friend of both Clinton and Bloomberg. “If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”
The CEO of Bloomberg L.P., whose net worth is valued at around $41 billion, is reportedly willing to spend $1 billion to promote his campaign.
In the past, the 73-year-old mogul has invested both personal fortune and political clout in the fight for marriage equality. In 2012 he endorsed Barack Obama as president, citing same-sex marriage as one of the reasons for his decision.
"One recognizes marriage equality as consistent with America’s march of freedom; one does not. I want our president to be on the right side of history," Bloomberg wrote of Obama at the time.
That year, he launched and funded his own super PAC, called Independence USA PAC, which dedicated around $10 million that election cycle to advance causes including marriage equality. Shortly after its launch, the PAC donated $500,000 to campaigns for marriage equality in Maine, Minnesota, and Washington. That came on top of $250,000 he had already given to a campaign in Maryland.
As mayor of New York from 2002 to 2013, his administration was not always on "the right side of history." It appealed a 2005 court ruling that said it was unconstitutional for New York City to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
However, Bloomberg delivered an impassioned speech to lawmakers in 2011. A critical turning point for LGBT rights in New York, the speech is credited with helping sway Senate Republicans in support of same-sex marriage in the Empire State.
“In our city, there is no shame in being true to yourself, there is only pride. We take you as you are — and we let you be who you wish to be,” he said in the speech.
He has also shown political support for the transgender community. In 2002, Bloomberg signed a trans civil rights bill, one of his first moves as mayor, that added gender identity to the ranks of the city's protected classes. He did falter on other trans advancements, however, like overhauling gender guidelines on birth certificates.
But on the issue of LGBT rights, none of the current Republican candidates can hold a candle to Bloomberg, whose candidacy would be sure to throw a wrench in GOP plans for the presidency. As a 2013 profile of Bloomberg in The Advocate notes, "... Love him or hate him, having him on the side of marriage equality and LGBT rights, more generally, could be worth its weight in gold."