January 31, 2020 / 6:55 PM / 24 days ago

U.S. candidate Bloomberg spent $200 million of own wealth on presidential bid in 2019

FILE PHOTO: Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul and former New York City mayor, now Democratic candidate gets on stage for his kick off 'United for Mike' at the Aventura Turnery Jewish Center and Tauber Academy Social in Miami, Florida, U.S., January 26, 2020. REUTERS/Maria Alejandra Cardona/File Photo

(Reuters) - Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg contributed more than $200 million of his own money to his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination as of the end of 2019, according to disclosures his campaign filed on Friday with the Federal Election Commission.

Of that, Bloomberg’s campaign spent $188 million, according to the disclosures.

That number has likely swelled in January as he has continued to pump millions of dollars into television ads and the costs of running a campaign.

Bloomberg, a late entry to the Democratic competition to take on Republican President Donald Trump in November, has pledged not to take any donations and finance his campaign by dipping into his estimated $60 billion fortune.

While he trails Democratic front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in public opinion polls, his level of support is rising as he spends heavily on a national election campaign.

Bloomberg is not competing in the first four states in the nominating contest, including Iowa, which holds caucuses on Monday. Instead, Bloomberg is campaigning in the states that hold nominating contests in March and beyond.

He is also blanketing national airwaves with political ads. Independent trackers estimate he has spent at least $250 million on television ads.

Reporting by Ginger Gibson in Des Moines; Additional reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Jonathan Oatis

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