The Politico is reporting that Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire and outspoken Donald Trump supporter, is considering a 2018 bid for California governor.
Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, has been discussing a prospective bid with a small circle of advisers, including Rob Morrow, who has emerged as his political consigliere.
Adding fuel to the speculation: Thiel raised eyebrows this week when he granted a rare interview to the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd. In the interview, he outlined his political worldview and explained his support for Trump.(At one point, Thiel said, perhaps jokingly, that he’d be “fine” with California seceding. “I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country. It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign,” he added.)
Thiel, who is worth an estimated $2.7 billion, would fill an important need: The ability to self-fund. Waging a gubernatorial bid in California, where campaigns are famously expensive, could cost over $100 million.
He isn’t the only billionaire who may run. Environmentalist Tom Steyer, a prolific giver to Democratic causes, is also seen as a possible contender.