New York Mayor Leaving GOP

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is switching his voter status to 'unaffiliated' amid speculation he is seeking the White House.
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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is switching his voter status from Republican to unaffiliated, he announced Tuesday.

Speculation has heated up in the past few weeks that the billionaire Bloomberg, the second-term Big Apple mayor who founded the giant financial information service that bears his name, was testing the waters for a White House run. Bloomberg's registering as an independent likely will further fuel that speculation.

"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," Bloomberg said in

a statement. "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."

Bloomberg's predecessor in City Hall, Rudy Giuliani, is a Republican candidate for president. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the favorites in the Democratic field.

For more on the campaign, check out Politics Blog, updated throughout the day by John Fout.