As speculation regarding a presidential run by Mayor Bloomberg reaches a fever pitch with the arrival of today's nonpartisan conference in Oklahoma, efforts to get Mr. Bloomberg on the ballot are under way in some seemingly unlikely places.
The national chairman of the Draft Michael Bloomberg Committee, Carey Campbell, says his group since January 1 has gathered some 500 signatures toward putting the mayor's name on Virginia's ballot, and has plans to petition in 14 states with especially difficult ballot requirements.
"Our goal is to collect 20,000 signatures in Virginia and then move on to another state," Mr. Campbell said yesterday. "We expect to move down to North Carolina next."
Mr. Campbell, who is also chairman of the Independent Green Party of Virginia, said he hopes that by encouraging established third parties, such as the Green, Libertarian, and Independence parties, to petition to put Mr. Bloomberg on their ticket, his group can convince the mayor to run for president.
A representative of the Draft Michael Bloomberg Committee, Gail Parker, is attending the Oklahoma conference and says she has already traveled to about a dozen states to push for a Bloomberg run.
"We believe it makes perfect political sense to team up with the Greens. What Bloomberg needs is ballot access in all 50 states and they can help provide it," Ms. Parker said yesterday.
"It would be a marriage of convenience for both but it would be a great benefit, we believe, for the nation as a whole," she said.