California Dems in full slobber over Barbara Boxer Senate seat

California Dems in full slobber over Barbara Boxer Senate seat

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-Calif.).

Steyer has been working the phones to gauge interest in a campaign since Boxer’s announcement Thursday. …

Steyer would enter the race as a major player given his ability to self-fund — he’s routinely dropped tens of millions of dollars into state initiatives before, and spent roughly $70 million total during the 2014 elections. He’s also built up close ties to some key California Democrats in recent election cycles from his investment in statehouse races and ballot measures.

But the environmentalist would still be likely to face a tough race against other high-profile Democrats — one that could cost him upwards of $100 million. California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) are both taking a look at a bid, as is former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and a bevy of lesser-known Democratic candidates. …

“He’s a very impressive guy, thoughtful, smart… He’s so associated with the climate issue, many environmentalists would be happy to see him running. But I’d also imagine that Gavin Newsom, Kamala Harris, Mayor Villaraigosa, my guess is any meaningful Democrat from California is going to have some pretty good environmental positions even if they’re not as upfront,” James Golin, a major Democratic and environmental donor who knows Steyer.

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