Steyer to Hold Clinton Fundraiser After Encouraging Primary Challenge

Tom Steyer
Tom Steyer / AP

Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer will host a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton just months after he suggested he would like to see a Democratic challenger to her bid for the presidency.

Steyer told MSNBC in September that a primary opponent would be "a good thing" for Clinton. "I think it’s very hard to go into a tough competitive [general] election cold," he said.

Now Steyer is throwing his considerable financial weight behind Clinton’s presidential run, the Contra Costa Times reports.

[Clinton] will attend two "Conversation with Hillary" fundraisers on Wednesday, May 6 in San Francisco — one in the afternoon at the home of hedge fund billionaire turned environmentalist Tom Steyer, and the other in the evening at the home of longtime friend and supporter Susie Tompkins Buell, cofounder of Esprit and The North Face.

Buell, like Steyer, is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a network of high-dollar liberal and Democratic donors. While Democracy Alliance partners are split on Clinton’s presidential run, Steyer’s and Buell’s financial backing signals significant Alliance support for Clinton.

Steyer is a long-time Clinton supporter, but she has not taken the bold environmentalist positions that have earned past politicians the former hedge fund manager’s support.

In particular, Clinton has yet to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline, a key issue of concern for Steyer’s Super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, during the 2014 election cycle.