Ex-Hedge Fund Billionaire Won’t Run For Senate

Jan 23 2015 | 6:48am ET

Ex-hedge fund manager Tom Steyer will not run for Senate after Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) resigns in 2016.

The billionaire environmental activist said that he will sit this campaign cycle out and instead focus on working on his signature issue, climate change. The activist has spent millions raising awareness for climate change in California and across the nation over the last decade.

“This was a very hard decision,” Steyer wrote in an editorial this week. “... Given the imperative of electing a Democratic president, along with my passion for our state, I believe my work right now should not be in our nation’s capital but here -- at home in California, and in states around the country where change is on the move.”

Boxer announced her intentions to retire in December. Following the news, Steyer rose to the top of the potential candidate list due to his deep political ties in the state.

Steyer has been a prominent fundraiser and supporter the Democratic Party over the last three presidential and midterm elections. He remains a staunch critic of Republican-backed legislation like the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline and deregulation of the energy sector.

And he has deep pockets.

During the 2014 election cycle, Steyer spent $74 million to influence four Senate races and three gubernatorial contests on climate change policy. Of that total, he pumped $67 million into his political action committee (PAC) NextGen Climate Action, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

Steyer may be holding out for the race for state governor in 2018 or Sen. Diane Feinstein’s (D-CA) seat in 2018.

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