NEW YORK - Michael Bloomberg is taking his first official step toward running for president in 2020.

The billionaire former mayor of New York City is preparing to file paperwork to qualify for Alabama's Democratic presidential primary, according to several reports Thursday.

While advisers stressed he hasn't completely made up his mind, Bloomberg has dispatched staffers to Alabama this week to gather signatures in order to make it onto the Yellowhammer State's primary ballot, according to The New York Times. Alabama's primary isn't until March, but the state has a Friday deadline to qualify for the ballot.

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