Billionaire Tom Steyer drops out of Democratic presidential primary race

Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

Credit: Gerald Herbert/AP

Tom Steyer, the California billionaire who has poured millions of dollars into his largely unnoticed campaign, has dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary race after a third-place finish in South Carolina.

"There's no question today that this campaign, we were disappointed with where we came out," Steyer said, NBC News reported. "But I said if I didn't see a path to winning that I'd suspend my campaign, and honestly I can't see a path where I can win the presidency."

He placed third in the South Carolina primary, his best showing of the campaign, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Steyer spent nearly $24 million on television advertising in South Carolina, more than all the other candidates combined. He spent an estimated $186 million on ads nationally as of Feb. 25, The Associated Press reported.

Steyer, a climate activist with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion, debated running before joining the crowded field in July 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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