Tom Steyer, the Democratic hedge fund manager-turned-activist, won’t run for either senator or governor of California in 2018, instead investing $30 million in an effort to flip the House, he told reporters on Monday.
“My fight is not just in California, my fight is in removing Donald Trump from office, and from power,” said Steyer, whose announcement won’t dispel speculation that he might run for president in 2020.
Steyer plans to use his NextGen America political group to juice millennial voting numbers in ten states, he said. He singled out House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Reps. Darrell Issa (Calif.), and Barbara Comstock (Va.) as targets.
The billionaire Steyer has been Democrats’ biggest donor in recent election cycles, to the tune of nearly $200 million. His national stature has grown recently with a series of straight-to-camera ads calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. That campaign will continue, Steyer said, adding that he will be delivering copies of “Fire and Fury,” the Michael Wolff book infuriating Trump’s White House, to all congressional offices.
“We now know that the Oval Office cannot reshape a man who does not believe in constitutional democracy. We now know that the Republican Party will not cross a president who controls their base no matter what he says or does,” he said at a news conference blocks from the Capitol. “By my count Donald Trump has committed at least eight impeachable offenses."
Steyer has collected more than 4 million signatures during his impeachment petition drive — a push that some Democratic leaders have urged him to stop, calling it premature. That's given him a massive email list that could be converted into significant political influence. He has also urged individual Democratic leaders and candidates to stand for Trump’s impeachment.
But his 2018 investment partially answers critics’ questions about whether his money would be better spent on individual races.
Steyer has been playing heavily in races across the country in recent years, largely through his NextGen political group that was initially focused on climate politics. The group relaunched in 2016 with a broader mandate, not zeroing in on any one issue.
“We have taken a disastrous turn and now we need to get back to a path to a just and prosperous future,” he said.