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Michael Bloomberg drops out of Democratic presidential race

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FILE – In this Nov. 26, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media in Phoenix. Democrats are narrowing Donald Trump’s early spending advantage, with two billionaire White House hopefuls joining established party groups to target the president in key battleground states that are likely to determine the outcome of next year’s election.(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.

The former New York City mayor had his 2020 hopes on the Super Tuesday states and drained more than $500 million of his own fortune into the campaign.

Bloomberg announced his departure from the race after a disappointing finish on Super Tuesday in the slate of states that account for almost one-third of the total delegates available in the Democratic nominating contest.

He won only the territory of American Samoa, and picked up several dozen delegates elsewhere. Biden, meanwhile, won big in Southern states where Bloomberg had poured tens of millions of dollars and even cautiously hoped for a victory.

Two of his former Democratic rivals, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden as the moderate alternative to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders just the day before Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg, 78, is one of the world’s richest men, worth an estimated $61 billion. His fortune flows from the financial data and media company that bears his name, which he started in the 1980s. In addition to serving 12 years as New York mayor, he endeared himself to progressive groups by pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into fighting climate change and curbing gun violence.

What’s next for Bloomberg is unclear. He’d pledged to keep campaign offices open in key general election battleground states to help the Democrats defeat Trump even if he lost the party’s nomination. But Sanders’ campaign has said they do not want the help.

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