Tom Steyer has ‘no plans’ to run for California governor in Newsom recall

Democratic megadonor Tom Steyer said Wednesday he has no plans to run as an alternative to California Gov. Gavin Newsom in the anticipated gubernatorial recall election.

“I have no plans to run for governor,” Mr. Steyer told Bloomberg TV. “I am opposed to the recall. I think that it’s a Republican attack on a Democratic governor.”

Speculation about his gubernatorial ambitions spiked last week after a Politico report that a Steyer entity had conducted polling in California on the Newsom recall that included questions on the level of support for several Democratic fallback candidates. One was Mr. Steyer.

Several Republicans have expressed interest in running on the recall ballot, including businessman John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former Rep. Doug Ose, while so far top Democrats have rallied around Mr. Newsom.

A poll of 1,174 likely voters released Tuesday by the Public Policy Institute of California found 56% opposed the Newsom recall and 40% supported it.

The Newsom recall campaign, called RecallGavin2020, submitted 2.1 million signatures before the March 17 deadline, well above the nearly 1.5 million valid signatures required, with 1.96 million of those independently verified as valid.

County clerks have until April 29 to submit verified signatures to the California Secretary of State, after which petition signers have 30 days to withdraw their signatures under a provision added by the state legislature amid the 2018 recall of Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman.

Mr. Steyer, who made his fortune as a hedge-fund manager, ran unsuccessfully for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, spending more than $250 million on his candidacy but failing to win any delegates.

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