What You Need to Know: Tom Steyer

Billionaire Tom Steyer launches 2020 presidential bid

California billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer on Tuesday joined the crowded field of Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential election.

>> Read more trending news 

Steyer, who said in January that he didn't plan to join the race for the White House, confirmed he'd changed his mind Tuesday in a video posted on social media.

"My name is Tom Steyer and I'm running for president," he said.

Steyer, 62, told reporters during an appearance in Iowa earlier this year that he planned to focus his efforts on his multimillion-dollar campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported. He vowed to pour at least $40 million into the effort and said he was "dedicating 100% of my time, effort and resources" to the cause, according to the Journal.

Since then, Steyer has said he's grown frustrated at the pace at which the Democratic-controlled House is approaching Trump. Roughly half of the Democratic presidential contenders, seeking to appeal to the party’s progressive base, have called on House Democrats to start an impeachment inquiry. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted, warning that Democrats need to collect the facts and that a rush to impeachment could ultimately help Trump politically.

Alberto Lammers, a spokesman for Steyer, told The New York Times that Steyer planned to spend "at least $100 million" on his campaign for the White House.

Steyer, who founded the hedge fund Farallon Capital in 1986, got into politics in 2010 when he backed several high-profile statewide initiatives in California focused on environmental issues, according to the Los Angeles Times and CNN.

He stepped down from the firm in 2012 and, one year later, founded NextGen America, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group. He subsequently founded the Need to Impeach campaign, focused on removing Trump from the White House.

His announcement comes one day after another California Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell, withdrew his name from the race.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.