“Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate change activist weighing a run for U.S. Senate, is telling potential supporters he would commit to serving only one term if he can’t reach goals dealing with the environment, economy and education within six years,” the Sacramento Bee reports.
Political Blotter has a poll commissioned by Tom Steyer (D) last month gauging his chances in a race for U.S. Senate in California.
But this was most amusing: “Lest anyone worry how healthy an opinion Steyer, 57, of San Francisco has of himself, the memo was addressed to ‘Team Cincinnatus’ — presumably referring to the Roman statesman hailed as an icon of virtue, selflessness and humility after twice being chosen for, and then twice resigning, the mantle of dictator in order to protect the republic. Big sandals to fill, there.”
Gavin Newsom’s decision not to run for U.S. Senate in California “capped a furious 72 hours of discussions among the would-be candidates and their advisers over whether to jump at the state’s first open Senate seat in two decades, or hold out for a shot at leading a state that is the world’s eighth-largest economy,” Politico reports.
In announcing his plans, Newsom got out ahead of Kamala Harris “who has told friends that she is also interested in the job of governor. Instead, on Tuesday, she will launch a campaign for Boxer’s seat, knowing that if she hesitated, it would appear that she was reluctant to choose the Senate over the governorship. In doing so, she will circumvent a race against Newsom; it has long been assumed that they would avoid a titanic clash that would leave one of them badly wounded, their hopes for higher office potentially derailed.”
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will announce tomorrow that she is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Said an adviser: “She’s not testing the waters. She’s charting the course. She’s in with both feet.”
Said Newsom: “It’s always better to be candid than coy. While I am humbled by the widespread encouragement of so many and hold in the highest esteem those who serve us in federal office, I know that my head and my heart, my young family’s future, and our unfinished work all remain firmly in the State of California – not Washington D.C. Therefore I will not seek election to the U.S. Senate in 2016.”
The exact timing of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) retirement announcement caught California Democrats off-guard — and launched a fluid, high-stakes decision making process by Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), BuzzFeed reports.
“The situation is more fluid than it is opaque. Most expect one to run for Senate in 2016, and the other for governor in 2018, succeeding Jerry Brown. In interviews this weekend, people close to Newsom and Harris described a fast-changing, somewhat uncomfortable three-day period of deliberation in which each has sought advice and consulted family, while navigating the concentric circles of their shared political universe, of which there are plenty.”
“Still, there is no ‘deal’ between Newsom and Harris. No ‘smoke-filled room,’ no secret pact that would install one as senator and the other as governor. The two Democrats, who share a long and complicated history, have not even spoken directly since before Boxer announced her retirement, according to a person familiar with their correspondence.”
“Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is moving hard towards a bid to replace one of the Senate’s staunchest green champions, retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA),” The Hill reports.
“Steyer has been working the phones to gauge interest in a campaign since Boxer’s announcement Thursday. He’s been in contact with the California strategists and backers who he worked with to push through two state initiatives, as well as allies in labor and the statehouse. He’s weighing how to keep his super-PAC, NextGen Climate, alive and active during a run. And he’s been poring through recent polling testing his profile, numbers his allies say indicate he could do well.”
“Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is mulling a run for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat, according to a person close to the former hedge fund trader,” Politico reports. “The person added that Steyer has been approached by some in the liberal community to run for Boxer’s seat, while others have urged him to run for governor of California in 2018. Another option: running for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat if she retires in 2018.”
Washington Post: “Political insiders took note, for instance, when Steyer showed up in Sacramento this week to celebrate Brown’s inauguration.”
Los Angeles Times: “Focus immediately turned to state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.”
“Harris and Newsom have statewide profiles and Bay Area support. Villaraigosa, a former Assembly speaker, has name recognition in the state’s largest media market. Steyer has wealth.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) announced she will not run for re-election in a video interview with her grandson.
Bloomberg reports Boxer had told close friends, including donors and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, in advance of releasing the video today on her political action committee’s website.
“A parade of ambitious California public figures, who’ve spent years itching for a shot at the state’s top political offices, are anticipating a shake-up of the state’s political hierarchy that could begin in a matter of weeks with the possible retirement of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. And some big names — including the mayor of Los Angeles — are already sizing up possible bids to succeed her,” Politico reports.
“Sources close to Boxer, 74, say the outspoken liberal senator will decide over the holidays whether to seek reelection in 2016 and will announce her plans shortly after the new year. Few of her friends believe she will run for a fifth term. Boxer has stopped raising money and is not taking steps to assemble a campaign.”
☑️ Life in the Middle: Marginalized Moderate Senators In the Era of Polarization is available on Amazon. It takes a deep dive into the power of moderates and why we see them behave so precariously.