Nearly two years after leaving the Republican Party, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is asking the city’s GOP leaders for a ballot line. The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent needs a line for his 2009 reelection bid, but is meeting some resistance from the GOP’s 5 county chairs.

From Liz Benjamin at the NY Daily News:

The drama comes ahead of Bloomberg's candidate-screening meeting with the chairmen Wednesday morning at the Metropolitan Club, after which they'll discuss whether to let him run a third time on their ballot line. Because he's no longer an enrolled Republican, Bloomberg needs what is known as a Wilson-Pakula waiver from three of the five chairmen to run on Row B.

The mayor probably won't get an answer Wednesday, according to one county chairman, who said he and his colleagues are likely to make Bloomberg sweat a while longer while they confer with their rank and file.

Over the past two weeks the mayor’s team has explored just about every ballot option, courting the state’s Independence and Working Families Party. There’s even speculation Bloomberg is eying the Democratic line.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg has hired up a slew of big campaign names from both sides of the aisle. Bloomberg has signed on Democrat Hank Sheinkopf who has in the past worked for one of the mayor’s Democratic opponents—City Comptroller Bill Thompson.

Also working for Bloomberg is former Hillary Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, and Barack Obama microtargeter Ken Strasma of Strategic Telemetry. Last week, former McCain campaign communications director Jill Hazelbaker signed on with the campaign.

New York magazine has a great look at how the list of big personalities could clash.

Shane D’Aprile is senior editor at Politics magazine. sdaprile@politicsmagazine.com