Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg spent nearly $200 million of his own money in the first five weeks of his campaign in 2019.
The former New York City mayor, who is worth more than $60 billion, spent about as much in the final weeks of 2019 as the combined third-quarter spending of all his Democratic rivals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bloomberg has flooded the airwaves with an estimated total of $300 million in TV, radio, and digital advertising between November and January, according to the campaign analysis group Kantar/CMAG.
"Our first month’s filing represents a down payment and commitment in all 50 states to defeat Donald Trump, and it shows we have the resources and plan necessary to take him on," Bloomberg’s campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said.
Bloomberg, who is bypassing the first four nominating states to compete in the states holding primaries in early March, only had 150 staffers on his campaign through Dec. 31, but now employs 1,000 people on his campaign across 35 states. He spent $315,000 on meals, $106,000 on staff recruiting, and $161,000 for hotels in 2019, according to his latest Federal Election Commission filing.
His campaign has also paid millions of dollars to digital and research firms, the Journal reports:
Mr. Bloomberg made a $14 million prepayment to his company, Bloomberg LP, for costs including the use of its private plane and employees who moved over to work for the campaign.
The campaign also shelled out $12 million to Hawkfish LLC, a data and digital company Mr. Bloomberg created months before announcing his run.
Bloomberg's campaign also dropped $3.2 million on polling research, including $1.2 million before he announced his 2020 run. He spent another $3.2 million renting voter-contact information from the group Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which he has bankrolled for years.