Billionaire Tom Steyer ending Democratic presidential bid after South Carolina primary

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who poured millions of dollars into his Democratic presidential campaign, is ending his bid after a disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary.

Steyer was set to announce Saturday night in Columbia that he was dropping out of the White House race. After spending nearly $24 million on television advertising in the state, he finished behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday.

Steyer rose to national prominence as a climate change activist and by investing heavily in a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump. His presidential campaign was heavily focused on South Carolina, where he sought to appeal to black voters by decrying yawning inequalities in American life that he said were caused by racism.

With a net worth estimated by Forbes as $1.6 billion, Steyer was a presence in the Democratic contest well before he made his candidacy official in July 2019, blanketing the airwaves with $10 million in television ads advocating for Trump’s impeachment.

Steyer’s “Need to Impeach” campaign spawned speculation that the 62-year-old would go a step further and also challenge Trump at the ballot box. In the meantime, though, the near-constant ads maintained high visibility for Steyer, who also launched a multicity town hall tour and petition campaign. He traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, in January 2019 to say that he wouldn’t run for the White House, only to change his mind six months later and enter the race.

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