NEW YORK: Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the crowded race to become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, US media reported.

The 77-year-old is expected to file paperwork in at least one state this week declaring himself a candidate, according to multiple outlets including The New York Times.

Bloomberg had said back in March he wouldn’t run, but has been toying for weeks with the idea of seeking the White House after all, according to an adviser, who was quoted as saying he had yet to make a final decision.

The billionaire has, though, sent members of staff to Alabama to gather the necessary signatures required to register for that state’s primary ahead of the deadline on Friday in anticipation of a bid, the reports said.

Alabama is not one of the earlier primaries but it has one of the earliest deadlines.

The move is the first clear sign that Bloomberg, long touted as a possible US presidential candidate, is getting ready to battle it out to take on President Donald Trump.

“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Bloomberg advisor Howard Wolfson said in a statement.

“Based on his record of accomplishment, leadership and his ability to bring people together to drive change, Mike would be able to take the fight to Trump and win,” Wolfson added, according to Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg, the co-founder and CEO of the media company that shares his name, is one of the richest people in the United States.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2019