Environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer has decided against a run for the California Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, saying he will focus his efforts on climate activism.
"This was a very hard decision," he wrote in an op-ed for The Huffington Post. "The U.S. Senate offers a unique opportunity to serve, but I also know that we will have excellent candidates. I applaud and respect those running, and am confident that Californians will choose a representative who will serve them well. Given the imperative of electing a Democratic president -- along with my passion for our state -- I believe my work right now should not be in our nation's capitol but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference."
Steyer's decision is good news for Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris, the only candidate who has so far officially declared her intention to run and the race's early frontrunner. Attention will now to turn to former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa, who is seriously considering a run and has been telling allies that he's likely to take the plunge.