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The 2020 Democrats: Tom Steyer

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

*See our full list of 2020 Democrats here*

Quick Facts

Who: Tom Steyer

State: California

Current position: Philanthropist and Democratic activist, former billionaire hedge fund manager


Campaign Website: https://www.tomsteyer.com 

Background: Tom Steyer is the founder and the former co-senior manager of Farallon Capital, an investment firm that manages $20 billion in capital for high-net-worth individuals and institutions. In 2012, he retired from Farallon Capital and sold his stake. He is a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm based in San Francisco. In 2012, Steyer and his wife signed The Giving Pledge, which donates half of their fortune to charity during their lifetime. Steyer has since switched his focus from finance to political activism. He launched NextGen America in 2013, a progressive non-profit organization which focuses on issues such as climate change, immigration, health care, and education. Steyer served on the Board of Trustees at Stanford University from 2012-2017. Steyer and his wife, Kathryn Taylor, are one of the biggest Democratic donors. They are ranked second in all-time political life donations and were third for the biggest donors of the 2018 midterms. 

2020 Campaign & Endorsements   

  • Date Announced: July 9, 2019

  • Fundraising: N/A

  • Campaign Leadership: Heather Hargreaves  

  • Key Endorsements:

Political Positions 

  • Taxes: Steyer is in favor of raising taxes. In 2017, Steyer said that upper-income individuals have done "disproportionately well" at the expense of working-class people. His campaign website states that Steyer "backed an initiative that closed corporate tax loopholes, generating at least $1.7 billion for public schools." 
  • Environment: In 2008, Steyer and his wife gave $41 million to establish the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford University, a program which specializes on the development of affordable renewable energy technologies and promotion of public policies to that end. 
  • Campaign Finance: In a November 2014 interview, Steyer said that he opposes Citizens United vs. FEC, a 2010 Supreme Court decision which allows unlimited corporate donations to super PACs. 
  • Impeachment: In October 2017, Steyer invested $10 million in a television ad campaign calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

This piece is part of our Election 2020 series. See below for more information on the most talked about Democrats challenging President Trump.

Who Is Joe Biden?

Who Is Bernie Sanders?

Who Is Elizabeth Warren?

Who Is Pete Buttigieg?

Who Is Beto O’Rourke?

Who Is Kamala Harris?

Who Is Cory Booker?

Who Is Amy Klobuchar?

Who Is Kirsten Gillibrand?

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