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U.S. billionaire Steyer enters 2020 Democratic presidential race

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U.S. billionaire Steyer enters 2020 Democratic presidential race
FILE PHOTO: Tom Steyer, founder of NextGen Climate, speaks during the California Democratic Convention in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam   -   Copyright  STEPHEN LAM(Reuters)
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pushed Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump and previously flirted with running for the White House, said on Tuesday he will now seek the Democratic nomination.

Steyer, in a statement and an online video, blasted corporate money in U.S. politics, saying other Democrats had good ideas but “we won’t be able to get any of those done until we end the hostile corporate takeover of our democracy.”

A fierce Trump critic, he joins a field of two dozen Democrats seeking to deny the president a second term. In January, he said he was passing on a 2020 run to focus his efforts on pushing lawmakers to impeach the Republican president and getting Democrats elected to the U.S. Congress.

His late entry underscores how wide open the Democratic primary field remains after the party’s first debate June 27-28. It also comes with significant challenges, such as cobbling together a staff from a smaller pool and meeting the more rigid requirements for other debates in September.

Steyer has been a force in Democratic fundraising over the past decade. NextGen America, a political nonprofit he formed in 2013, has poured millions into elections, focussing on climate change, immigration and access to affordable healthcare, among other issues.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker and Jarrett Renshaw; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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