Bill de Blasio kicked off of his 2020 presidential campaign on Thursday, making the New York City mayor the 24th person to join the crowded Democratic field.

The big picture: Even before his announcement, de Blasio already qualified to participate in the Democratic primary debates, according to a poll from Reuters and Ipsos. The mayor intends to leverage his record of New York achievements such as universal pre-kindergarten and raising the minimum hourly wage. Following the announcement, he will go on a 4-day campaign tour to Iowa and South Carolina, per NBC.

Go deeper: "We know the game is rigged": NYC mayor slams Amazon HQ2 reversal

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Updated 26 mins ago - World

At least 100 killed, much of Beirut destroyed in massive explosion

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion Beirut, Lebanon has killed at least 100 people and injured over 4,000, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Driving the news: Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for over six years.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.

An election like no other

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The coronavirus will make the 2020 presidential election different from any in modern history: Voting that begins earlier, results that take longer, mail carriers as virtual poll workers and October Surprises that pop in September.

The big picture: Perhaps 80 million Americans will vote early, by mail or in person, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, tells Axios. That's going to set up more of an Election Season than an Election Day — and increase the odds of national turmoil over the vote count.