By Jill Colvin
MANHATTAN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on the road yet again — this time pushing for reform in Florida.
The mayor was expected to join former Miami mayor Manny Diaz to support an amendment to the state's redistricting law, which is intended to prevent politicians from using redistricting powers to slam opponents and boost their own chances at re-election.
Two years ago, Bloomberg travelled to California to push a similar bill with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Observer reported.
The stop is just the last in a string of high-profile cross-country trips that continue to raise questions about the mayor's national ambitions.
He skipped off to Washington, D.C. to stump for current Mayor Adrian Fenty in August, as well is to Philadelphia to stump for Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak, who is running for Senate.
Of course, Mayor Bloomberg has repeatedly insisted that he has no plans to run for president in 2012.
"I am not running for president," he said again at a press conference Thursday.
But that hasn't stopped some from trying.
On Thursday, the Draft Michael Bloomberg Committee held a press conference in D.C. launching its bid to get the mayor to come on board as the leader of a new national Independent Party.
Carey Campbell, national chairman of the Draft Bloomberg Committee, said his vision is to create a new major national party that brings together Independents, Independence and Green Party voters across the country. But he said he needs a leader to make that happen.
After considering a list of 500 to 1,000 possible candidates, the group decided Bloomberg is their man.
"Michael Bloomberg is the nation's leading independent. He is credible. He is respected across the nation. … He is the singular figure," Campbell said.
"We need a figure like Bloomberg to break through."
Campbell said hasn't heard from the mayor since the launch, but at a press conference Thursday, Bloomberg shot down the plan,
"There's not going to be a third-party candidate," he said, noting, "if there is it's not going to be me."
Asked about his frequent trips and growing national profile, Bloomberg said he's simply sharing his experience and lending a hand.
"I have a responsibility, like all citizens do, to speak out. As the mayor of a large city, I do have experience and a voice, platform," he said.
But State Senate President Malcolm Smith said Thursday that voters should still watch out.
"[In politics] You know, there's no such thing as never. There's no such thing as no," he was quoted saying by the Daily News.
"So while he was very clear today he's not running, and I take him at his word, anything is possible. You know, look what happened in Albany for the last two years," he said.