Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was the headliner at a rally at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he bowed out of the race for the Democratic nomination.

WASHINGTON – Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who jumped into the 2020 election in late November, has ended his presidential bid, according to his campaign.


Bloomberg, 78, was the headliner at a rally at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on Tuesday, but Florida took center stage as Bloomberg and his campaign manager repeatedly stressed the state’s crucial role in winning the White House.


Bloomberg’s departure from the race puts up for dibs several Florida super-delegates, who had already endorsed Bloomberg. On Feb. 13, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, cited Bloomberg’s longtime advocacy for gun control in announcing he would back Bloomberg.


Deutch also assumed the role of co-chair for Bloomberg’s nationwide effort to rally support among Jewish voters. As of mid-morning, Deutch had not commented on whether he would now back Biden or Sanders.


Most of Florida’s 248 delegates will be required to vote for candidates based on the proportion of votes a candidate wins in the March 17 primary. However, superdelegates are allowed to back whomever they choose.


Superdelegates become especially coveted players in close races and could play a decisive role in deciding the Democratic party’s nominee.


As for Palm Beach County’s two other members of Congress who are super-delegates, Rep. Alcee Hastings endorsed Biden before Super Tuesday. Rep. Lois Frankel has yet to announce her preferred candidate.


Other Democratic notables among Florida’s 19 superdelegates who are backing Biden include Broward/Miami-Dade U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.


Bloomberg, whom Forbes estimates is worth more than $64 billion, was the last Democrat to jump into the crowded primary field. He used his wealth to try to overcome the disadvantages that came with his late entry, such as not making it to any of the primary debates in 2019, and his opponents’ monthslong head start on the campaign trail.


Ad-tracking firm Advertising Analytics said Bloomberg's campaign was the highest spending presidential campaign of all time, surpassing President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign, which set the previous campaign spending record of more than $338 million. Bloomberg spent more than that, of his own money, on his campaign.


Bloomberg put much of his resources into Super Tuesday on March 3, rather than the first four early-voting states. About half of the total Democratic delegates were up for grabs that day.


But the media mogul's advertising blitz failed to generate the hoped-for level of support, and Bloomberg was not helped by two debate performances that widely were considered abysmal.


Bloomberg first announced his candidacy on Nov. 24, after weeks of speculating that he was going to jump in. Several media reports published in October said Bloomberg was reconsidering his decision to run for president after saying in March that he would stay out of the race because he was "clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field."


In November, Bloomberg’s adviser Howard Wolfson said the former mayor was "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned" to beat Trump. Even before officially announcing his candidacy, Bloomberg on Nov. 8 filed paperwork to run in the Democratic presidential primary in Alabama.


"I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America," Bloomberg said in a statement on his campaign website when he announced his bid. "We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage."


Bloomberg was first elected mayor as a Republican in 2001. He was reelected as a Republican again in 2005, but two years later left the party. He was an independent when he was reelected in 2009.


The former mayor battled controversies over his past remarks about race, gender, and criminal justice his critics and rivals in the Democratic primary field slammed as racist, sexist, and disqualifying for higher office.


Palm Beach Post staff writer Christine Stapleton contributed to this story. Also contributing: William Cummings and Nicholas Wu