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Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg kicks off campaign in Norfolk

Businessman and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg made his first campaign stop in Norfolk just a day after he announced he's running for president.

NORFOLK, Va. — Billionaire Mike Bloomberg paid a visit to Norfolk on Monday to campaign, just one day after he formally announced his plans to run for president.

Hampton Roads is the first campaign stop for the businessman and former mayor of New York City following his announcement over the weekend.

“Southeastern Virginia proves that with the right candidate we can turn areas from red to blue and we need to do that all across this country," Bloomberg said.

He visited Selden Market in downtown Norfolk alongside Delegate-elect Nancy Guy to meet with voters and elected officials.

Bloomberg has championed climate change and gun violence prevention in this current election cycle.

Bloomberg’s entrance, just 10 weeks before primary voting begins, reflects his concerns that the current slate of candidates is not well-positioned to defeat Trump.

“I think there is a greater risk of having Donald Trump elected than there was before, and in the end I looked in the mirror and said, we cannot let this happen," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg’s massive investments in Democratic priorities like climate change and gun control, backed by his extraordinary personal wealth, could make him a force. He’s already reserved more than $30 million in television ads across several states, although he’s bypassing the first four primaries on the calendar.

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Forbes ranked Bloomberg as the 11th-richest person in the world last year with a net worth of roughly $50 billion. Trump, by contrast, was ranked 259th with a net worth of just over $3 billion.

Already, Bloomberg has vowed to spend at least $150 million of his fortune on various pieces of a 2020 campaign, including more than $100 million for internet ads attacking Trump, between $15 million and $20 million on a voter registration drive largely targeting minority voters, and more than $30 million on an initial round of television ads.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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