Steyer ally says California Senate run a possibility

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer may jump into what could be one of the hottest Senate races of 2016.

With Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) announcing her retirement on Thursday, eyes turned to Steyer, who burst onto the political scene this last election cycle for vowing to make climate change a wedge issue in the midterms.

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A source close to Steyer told The Hill in an email that the former hedge-fund manager has always kept open the possibility of running for public office, especially if it had the potential to "advance the issues he cares about."

"My sense is that he will take a look at it and consider it over the next few days or so," the source said.

The source also noted that while Steyer has been "approached" by people to run for Boxer's seat, "others are encouraging him to run for governor in four years given the potential of the [California] platform."

It's no shock that the billionaire would have the means to fund a run.

A run in California would cost him roughly $35 million to $50 million for the primary, and roughly the same amount for the general, the source close to Steyer said.

Steyer was quick to issue a statement after news broke of Boxer's retirement, a sign he is keeping watch on the race.

"Over the course of her career, Senator Barbara Boxer has been a warrior for progressive causes," Steyer said.

"Californians have been lucky to have her in our corner, and I know the best is yet to come.”