Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer officially declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential nomination on Tuesday.
“I am running to end corruption of our democracy by corporations and give more power to the American people,” Steyer said in a statement, with a new video released Tuesday morning announcing his campaign.
Steyer’s platform centers on tackling climate change and reducing corporate influence in American politics. The Californian has been a major Democratic donor in recent years and has been one of the leading voices calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, though his announcement video barely mentioned Trump.
In January, the 62-year-old businessman and philanthropist ended speculation of a possible run for president announcing that he would instead focus his efforts on applying pressure to Congress to impeach Trump. In 2017, Steyer earned national media attention when he started and ran a nonprofit with the sole purpose to advocate for the president’s impeachment, called “Need to Impeach.”
Since his decision not to run, Steyer spent an additional $10 million on television ads arguing for Trump’s impeachment. Before January, Steyer had already spent millions on the effort, sending anti-Trump books to members of Congress and running ads to pressure members to pursue articles of impeachment.
Steyer changed course Tuesday, however, announcing that he would enter the race for president after all, keeping the number of major candidates in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination at 25, with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–Calif.) dropping out of the race on Monday.
Steyer, worth around $1.6 billion according to Forbes’ estimate, also started NextGen Climate, now known as NextGen America, a super PAC that has donated approximately $230 million to Democratic candidates in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections. The hedge fund manager’s two organizations, NextGen America and Need to Impeach, will likely give Steyer a boost as he tries to qualify for subsequent Democratic debates. Steyer needs 65,000 over the next seven days to qualify for the second set of debates held in Michigan at the end of the month.