Paypal founder Peter Thiel considering running for California governor
Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel is reportedly considering to run for California governor in 2018, according to three major Republicans. Thiel is an outspoken supporter of US President-elect Donald Trump. Republican insiders say Thiel's bid for governor is unlikely but he still hasn't explicitly ruled it out. Thiel has discussed the potential bid with a small circle of advisers.
Who is Peter Thiel?
Thiel is an entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, venture capitalist and philanthropist. Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal and was Facebook's first professional investor, and sits on its board. He is gay and politically, a libertarian. He is an alumnus of Stanford University and is worth an estimated $2.7 billion.
Thiel's links to Trump
Thiel donated at least $1.25 million to Trump's election campaign. He gave a primetime speech at last year's Republican National Convention, where he described both himself and Trump as "builders" who would rebuild a "broken" America. Thiel is a key member of Trump transition team has become the President-elect's go-to man when it comes to the tech industry.
Thiel wants California to secede from the US
Thiel favours CalExit, California seceding from the US to form its own country. "I think it would be good for California" and America, Thiel said, adding that it would help Trump's 2020 re-election. California, America's largest state, overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton during the presidential election.
Thiel helped Hulk Hogan win Gawker lawsuit
Thiel gave former WWE wrestler Hulk Hogan $10 million to sue news website Gawker after it released a sex tape featuring Hogan. Thiel is believed to have bankrolled the lawsuit as revenge after Gawker outed him as being gay in 2007. Hogan won $130 invasion-of-privacy lawsuit that drove Gawker to bankruptcy last year. Hogan eventually settled for $31 million.
Thiel faces uphill battle for California governor
California has historically tilted towards Democrats. Trump secured just 30% of the vote in California during the presidential election. Thiel would hence face an uphill battle to win the contest for governor as a Republican, despite having the funds to contest.