WASHINGTON - Fresh off his departure from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg has poured $2 million into efforts to boost turnout by African-American voters in eight key states, an indication of his intention to continue bankrolling Democratic causes ahead of November's elections.

 

"Voter suppression efforts across the country have been a barely disguised effort to keep Black Americans and other Democratic-leaning voters from the polls," Bloomberg said in a statement on Monday. "I've always believed we need to make it easier for all citizens to register and vote, not harder."

The $2 million donation, as first reported by The Washington Post, will go to the group Collective Future. A Bloomberg aide said the former mayor signed off on the donation before he exited the race following Super Tuesday last week, and the funds were transferred to the group on Friday. The donation has been in the works for six weeks, the aide said.

Collective Future is the nonprofit arm of The Collective PAC, whose mission is to "fix the challenge of African American underrepresentation in elected seats of power throughout our nation." 

Collective Future said in a release that the funds will be used to partner with civic groups and hire field organizers to boost voter registrations in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, with the goal of registering 500,000 black voters.

"There is a critical need for Black voter engagement across the country in the 2020 election and beyond and we are deeply grateful to Mike Bloomberg for his partnership and dedication to this critical cause," Quentin James, president of The Collective, said in a statement. "His significant financial contribution will propel our work to historic levels and we are hopeful that this game-changing investment will be supported and replicated by those who embrace the need to advance the Black community."

After his disappointing showing on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden and vowed to utilize his vast fortune to support his candidacy. The former mayor built a massive campaign apparatus during his brief three-month campaign, and planned to retain staffers in key swing states to aid in Biden's election effort.

Bloomberg, who is worth an estimated $56.1 billion, has doled out billions of dollars to support causes and candidates to further his political agenda over the years, including hundreds of millions to back Democratic candidates in congressional races in 2018. He spent upwards of $570 million on advertising alone during his campaign before dropping out last Wednesday.

"I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump. And today, I am leaving the race for the same reason, to defeat Donald Trump," he said when he announced he was dropping out. "Because staying in would make it more difficult to achieve that goal."