BISMARCK — Presidential candidate and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is devoting resources to North Dakota two weeks ahead of the state's Democratic Caucus.
Bloomberg's campaign announced Wednesday, Feb. 26, that it has hired four staffers to work out of its Fargo headquarters.
Former U.S. State Department employee and Wyndmere, N.D., native Nick Schmit will helm the campaign's operations in the state as a senior advisor, according to a news release. Jessica Haak Edland, a former Democratic lawmaker from Jamestown, will serve as the campaign's North Dakota political director.
North Dakota Democratic-NPL party spokesman Alex Rohr said he believes Bloomberg is the only presidential candidate with a campaign headquarters in the state.
The campaign also plans to add an office and a few staffers in Grand Forks before North Dakota Democrats head to the polls, according to the release. Schmit said Bloomberg is running "a truly nationwide race" and trying to connect with voters in every state.
The billionaire businessman entered the crowded Democratic field in late November and has not appeared on the ballot in any of the first three states holding primary elections. His first official showing will come on Tuesday, March 3, also known as "Super Tuesday," when Democrats in 14 states, including Minnesota, will cast their votes.
Bloomberg has poured an enormous amount of his own money into the campaign, spending more than $409 million as of Jan. 31, according to federal election records. Bloomberg News, which is owned by the candidate, reported Monday that the campaign has spent nearly $506 million on advertising to date, making it the most expensive primary campaign in presidential history.
The former mayor has tried to present himself to voters as a pragmatic leader and the Democrats' best hope of defeating Republican President Donald Trump, but other Democratic candidates have accused him of trying to "buy the election."
North Dakota's Democratic Caucus will take place on March 10 in 14 locations across the state, including Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Dickinson.