Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's campaign opened a Springfield office this week, and JC Gonzalez-Ramirez, who is running the office, says the operation can also help other Democratic candidates.
"Our main goal is to try and collaborate and coordinate with campaigns, let them know that we have space available, that we have some resources available to them," he said. "We really want to immerse ourselves in this community and let them know that Mike's here in Illinois because we want to help other Democrats (get) elected in this cycle."
The office is at 605 E. Washington St., in a building just south of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.
Also joining the Bloomberg effort is Tom Raymond, 30, who was the Democratic candidate for Sangamon County treasuer in 2018 but lost to Republican Joe Aiello. Raymond left his job with the state to become a field organizer for Bloomberg. He is married to Samantha Raymond, who last spring won election as a Lincoln Land Community College trustee.
Bloomberg, 77, was mayor of New York City for 12 years. He was a late entrant to the Democratic presidential contest and is self-funding his campaign. According to Forbes magazine, he is worth more than $61 billion. His campaign website says Bloomberg has donated $10 billion to support causes in the U.S. and around the world, and has pledged to give away nearly all his money in his lifetime. The site also says he is "one of America's most fearless and effective voices on urgent issues including climate change, gun violence, public health, and education." His firm, Bloomberg LP, is a financial, software, data and media company with about 20,000 employees.
"People feel like he's going to buy the election, but I don't see it that way," Gonzalez-Ramirez said. "I think this gentleman's out here to get Democrats elected, to do a great job, and to turn the country around."
In addition to Springfield and three Chicago offices, Bloomberg's campaign opened offices in Belleville and Rock Island. The campaign says it will have at least 10 offices statewide leading up to the March 17 Democratic primary.
Gonzalez-Ramirez, 28, whose territory includes about 20 counties, graduated high school where his parents still live in Crystal Lake. He said he is familiar with central Illinois and likes the area. He spent two years at the University of Illinois Springfield before earning a political science degree in 2016 from Illinois College in Jacksonville. He also did campaign work for Gov. JB Pritzker.
Can Bloomberg become the Democratic nominee for president?
"I think it's a competitive field," Gonzalez-Ramirez said. "I think everybody has a fair shot."
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