Liberal billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer posted several high-ranking job listings on Linkedin last week for his potential 2020 presidential campaign, a spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
Steyer, who has hinted at a potential presidential run and has been vocal about impeaching President Donald Trump, published the job openings under an anonymous account. The job listings call on "highly skilled political professionals" to apply for key roles on a "national campaign team" for a "high-profile political campaign based on the West Coast," according to BuzzFeed.
The Linkedin post says Steyer is looking to fill the role of state director in three of the four states that are critical to successfully kick off the Democratic primary, including Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. The listing requests applicants have "a commitment to progressive change" and a "passion for progressive politics."
"We will disclose candidate information after an initial screening interview," the listing reads.
Steyer's spokesperson, Aleigha Cavalier, confirmed to BuzzFeed that the job listings were posted by his team, but noted Steyer still hasn't made a decision about running for office. The progressive activist, who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and progressive causes, has talked about running for statewide office, including statewide campaigns for governor and Senate, but subsequently bowed out after making the press speculate.
"As Tom has said publicly, he is considering how he can have the most impact in 2020, and our team is exploring staffing options, should he decide to move forward with a run," Cavalier said. "Tom has not made a final decision and any discussions with potential staff are preliminary."
BuzzFeed noted the process of building a campaign team can initiate an official "testing the waters" stage of a campaign, even if an official announcement hasn't been made.
For any potential presidential candidate, the search for staff in advance of a formal launch is a tricky proposition. Presidential campaigns are massive enterprises. Building one begins as much with the question of whether to run as with the work that must be done first in order to launch a successful and competitive campaign.
Under rules set by the Federal Election Commission, however, that prep work could also trigger the "testing the waters" phase of a potential campaign — a period during which candidates may explore the feasibility of a run, with such activities as polling or traveling, but must keep financial records and abide by contribution limits.
Of the many Democrats looking at the 2020 primary, Steyer has been among the most open about his interest in the race.
Last month, Steyer addressed staffers and consultants at a weekly meeting, which was described as a town-hall environment due to him soliciting questions. Multiple participants said his comments about 2020 appeared to suggest that he had done everything except announce his campaign. Cavalier disputed this suggestion at the time by telling BuzzFeed, "he has not made a decision about his political future — and that is still the case."