Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg will scrap his plans for an independent group to boost Democrats in the 2020 presidential election and instead pile $18 million into the Democratic National Committee, his campaign announced Friday.
As part of the move, the one-time presidential hopeful will lay off campaign staff, who will get paid through the first week in April and get medical benefits through the end of that month, according to NBC News.
Bloomberg's presidential campaign said the DNC will use the investment to boost hiring, organizing and data operations in battleground states. In addition, it will transfer "several" field offices to state parties.
"While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the President accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution," the campaign wrote in a memo to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
The massive transfer ensures Bloomberg, who dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary earlier this month to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden, will have sway in the general election. The billionaire, who spent more than $500 million on his doomed presidential bid, has pledged to support the eventual nominee's efforts to deny President Donald Trump a second term.
The Bloomberg campaign called the $18 million transfer of unused campaign funds "the largest transfer from a presidential campaign in recent history."
While Biden has expanded his pledged delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, he has trailed his rival at every stage of the primary in the fundraising race. As a wide Democratic field split donors, the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee enjoyed fundraising success in the early stages of the race.
Fears about the coronavirus pandemic spreading have forced multiple states to delay their planned presidential primaries, making it unclear when a Democrat will wrap up the nomination. The outbreak has created fundraising difficulties for both the Biden campaign and Republicans.