Bloomberg kicks off mayoral run in New York City

NEW YORK, Reuters

Businessman Michael Bloomberg hit the campaign trail for the first time on Wednesday in his quest to become mayor of New York, saying his experience building a financial media company had given him the skills and experience to run America’s largest city.

The political newcomer, who joins a field of four Democrats and another Republican seeking the top job in City Hall, visited community leaders and neighborhoods in Harlem, Queens and the Bronx to begin spreading his campaign message.

“I’m running for mayor because I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” said the founder of the financial news and services company Bloomberg LP. “I’ve succeeded beyond my wildest expectations, and I can show those who haven’t been so lucky how they can participate in the great American dream.”

Bloomberg defended his move to switch parties late last year and run as a Republican, saying he could not have won the nomination in the Democratic field of political veterans.

“In terms of do I believe in it, I don’t know what the national issues have to do with local politics,” he said of the Republican Party. “If I want to change the world, I’ve got to get to November.”