California’s gubernatorial governor’s race between Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizer and former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman is expected to be the most expensive governor’s race in the state’s history. Whitman on Monday gave her campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination another $20 million, bringing her contributions from her personal fortune to $59 million.
Whitman has already spent more than $46 million in her quest to beat state Poizner in the June Republican primary, paying tens of millions to blanket television and radio airwaves with ads introducing herself to California voters.
Recent polls show her with a 40- to 50-percentage point lead over Poizner and neck-and-neck with presumed Democratic nominee Jerry Brown in a presumed matchup in next November’s general election.
The Poizner and Brown campaigns accused Whitman of trying to buy the election.
“Meg Whitman laughs at the thought of running out of money, while people across California are struggling every day,” Poizner spokesman Jarrod Agen said in a statement.
Poizner is also a multimillionaire who has given his campaign $19 million to date, but had spent only about $3 million as of mid-March. He has said he is saving his resources to mount an aggressive attack against Whitman in the final weeks of the Republican contest.
Brown spokesman Sterling Clifford said Whitman is spending unprecedented money “to fund simplistic sloganeering and attack ads. Her Wall Street money won’t be enough to crown herself the Republican nominee or buy the governor’s office this November.”
Whitman’s campaign has said she is willing to spend as much as $150 million of her own money in the race for governor.
Whitman campaign manager Jillian Hasner said that Whitman has also raised $11.8 million from outside contributors.
“Whether it’s facing down the powerful public employee unions who are propping up Jerry Brown or our well-financed primary opponent, Meg’s campaign will have the resources to fight back,” Hasner said in a statement released by the campaign.
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