Democrat Brown has $22.5M for last month of gov’s race; GOP candidate Whitman yet to report

By Juliet Williams, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Brown has $22.5M cash on hand in Calif. gov’s race

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has $22.5 million in campaign cash as he heads into the final month of the race against Republican Meg Whitman, his campaign said Tuesday as it prepared to file official reports with state officials.

Campaign spokesman Sterling Clifford said Brown has spent $10.3 million so far this year, nearly all of it since Labor Day. The figure does not include nonmonetary donations of supplies and labor, on which Brown has relied heavily all year.

California candidates seeking statewide office, legislative seats and as well as ballot-measure committees, major donors and independent expenditure groups were required to file their financial reports with the secretary of state’s office by midnight Tuesday.

Whitman, whose spending to date has dwarfed Brown’s, had not yet released her spending or fundraising numbers. The former eBay CEO has given her campaign $119 million from her personal fortune, a record for a U.S. candidate.

Despite that spending, a series of public opinion polls have shown the gubernatorial candidates are neck-and-neck, as some voters are expected to begin returning their absentee ballots, which counties began mailing Monday.

Brown, the state’s attorney general and former governor from 1975 to 1983, has also received significant financial help from public employee unions, which have spent $13.8 million on his behalf in the general election, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission. One of those groups, the Service Employees International Union, announced last week that it was launching a $5 million ad campaign targeting Latino voters on Brown’s behalf.

Brown made many Democrats nervous as he refused for months to spend money on advertising, contending that he needed to save his firepower for the final weeks of the race. He is now running a series of TV ads touting his experience in government.

Clifford says Brown, the state’s attorney general, raised $28.6 million in the three-month period ending Sept. 30.

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