Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been flirting with the idea of an independent run for president, just changed his party registration to “blank,” a spokesperson at the city Board of Elections told me.
This is the most concrete step to date Bloomberg has taken towards running for president.
The paperwork was received by the board’s Manhattan office and will take effect one week after the November general election, the spokesperson said.
UPDATE: The mayor just put out the following statement on the switch:
“I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City.
“A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: we’ve balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed the school system and made the nation’s safest city even safer.
“We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.
“Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there’s no limit to what we can do.”