Steyer Lays Groundwork for Possible 2020 Campaign

Tom Steyer / Getty Images

Billionaire liberal activist Tom Steyer is taking steps towards starting a 2020 presidential campaign.

The potential Democratic candidate is launching a six-figure online ad buy, a full-page ad in USA Today, a redesigned website, and he will hold five town halls around the United States, according to Politico. His first scheduled town hall will be in South Carolina, an early primary state, on Dec. 4.

Steyer will hold one town hall dedicated to each of the "5 rights" on his platform: "the right to an equal vote, to clean air and water, to learn with pre-K education through college, to a living wage, and to health."

"These rights should be the basis of the Democratic Party’s platform," Steyer wrote on his website. "Together, we will achieve these rights for all Americans."

Steyer has not said whether he will run in 2020, and his communications adviser said he is focused on influencing Democratic lawmakers. Politico notes he also has access to a 6-million person email list from his Need to Impeach campaign–which has pressed for the impeachment of President Donald Trump–grassroots resources through his NextGen America PAC, and a net worth of over $1.5 billion.

Steyer also appears to be trying to relieve Democrats' fears of looking to a billionaire former hedge fund manager to take on Trump and the Republican Party.

"Over time, I saw private greed overcome public good," Steyer writes. "The time arrived when I could see that our economy was rigged to funnel virtually all the enormous benefits of our growing productivity to the wealthy and their large corporations, while the vast majority of Americans — the people who do the work — gained little or nothing."

Steyer has donated almost $300 million over the past three election cycles, with much of that invested in NextGen America and Need to Impeach. He has also donated directly to PACs supporting specific progressive candidates, such as Andrew Gillum in Florida.