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FILE — Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York attends a memorial on the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2019. Bloomberg is to file paperwork on Friday afternoon, Nov. 8, 2019, to place himself on the Democratic presidential primary ballot in Alabama, advisers said, a first step toward competing for the party’s nomination to challenge Donald President Trump next year. (Brittainy Newman/The New York Times)

NASHVILLE — Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will make his first campaign trip to Chattanooga on Wednesday for a rally marking the start of early voting in Tennessee for the March 3 Super Tuesday primary elections.

Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina are among 14 states and a U.S. territory participating in Super Tuesday 2020. That includes mega-states Texas and California.

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Bloomberg's visit to Chattanooga — he has a second stop later Wednesday in Nashville — comes the day after New Hampshire holds its Democratic and Republican primaries.

But Bloomberg is skipping New Hampshire, just as he did Iowa's caucuses. And he plans to do the same in South Carolina and Nevada primaries. Instead, his strategy calls for betting heavily on March 3 as he seeks to rack up delegates and become Democrats' nominee against President Donald Trump.

"The time, resources and attention Mike gives Tennessee shows his care and focus on Tennessee voters," said Courtney Wheeler, Tennessee state director for Mike Bloomberg 2020, in a statement. "We are glad to see he cares about our voices and are looking forward to giving him another big welcome this week."

The Bloomberg campaign says the candidate's "deep presence" in Tennessee is part of his campaign's effort to "engage voters, win delegates on Super Tuesday and defeat Donald Trump."

The Chattanooga event will be held at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. EST, and the event is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

It marks Bloomberg's third foray into Tennessee since announcing his candidacy in November. In late December, he announced his national health care policy in Memphis and kicked off the grand opening of the state campaign headquarters in Nashville. Last month, Bloomberg went to Knoxville to open a regional field office there.

Bloomberg started spending steadily on Tennessee television and radio in December, including in Chattanooga. Another billionaire Democratic candidate, Tom Steyer, has spent in Chattanooga as well, according to a Federal Communication Commission filing.

Last week, Democrat Bernie Sanders' campaign made an inquiry to WRCB-TV Channel 3 about advertising rates, according to a FCC filing.

Other Democratic candidates in the presidential contest include former Vice President Joe Biden; former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and business entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.

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