Robert Mercer is stepping aside.
The Yorktown native said he is selling his stake in Breitbart News, a news site catering to the far right, to his daughters and stepping down as CEO of Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund company that made him a billionaire.
Mercer has become an influential name in conservative circles, donating millions to the presidential candidacies of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump and other right wing causes. He recently donated $1 million to a SuperPAC for County Executive Rob Astorino. Mercer lived in Yorktown when he worked for IBM.
"I support conservatives, who favor a smaller, less powerful government, " Mercer said in a letter to employees.
Mercer also denied he is a white supremacist or supports discrimination. A profile on him in The New Yorker claimed he said African Americans were better off before the Civil Rights Act.
"Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me," Mercer said. "But more than that, it is ignorant."
In his letter, Mercer also said he does not think in lockstep with Steve Bannon, who runs Breitbart after serving an advisor to President Trump.
"I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon's," Mercer said. "Without individuals thinking for themselves, society as a whole will struggle to distinguish the signal of truth from the correlated noise of conformity."
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