Brown raises big bucks for gubernatorial bid

Chris Rizo Feb. 1, 2010, 2:50pm

Jerry Brown (D)

Meg Whitman (R)

Steve Poizner (R)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown had more than $12 million campaign cash-on-hand as of the end of the year, campaign finance disclosures indicate.

Papers filed Monday with the California secretary of state also show that Brown, who is exploring a bid for governor, raised $8.3 million and spent just $370,525 last year.

Although Brown has not officially declared his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, he has established an official exploratory committee, which allows him to raise big bucks for a potential bid for the office he held decades ago.

Brown is the only expected Democratic candidate vying to succeed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Golden State's chief executive.

As the Democratic nominee, Brown would challenge either Republican former eBay CEO Meg Whitman or state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the November general election.

Whitman raked in $10.2 million last year, while Poizner raised $2.46 million as of Jan. 4.

In the fight for their party's nomination, Whitman and Poizner have both invested heavily in their campaigns. Whitman has funneled $39 million of her personal wealth into her campaign coffers, while Poizner has given his campaign $19 million.

A Field Poll released Jan. 22 indicates that Brown's lead in the governor's race was narrowing.

In a hypothetical general election matchup against Whitman, Brown had a 10-point lead over Whitman, 46 percent to 36 percent. In October, Brown had more than a 20 point lead over Whitman.

Against Poisner, Brown led by 17 points, down from the 25-point lead he had in the fall.

Brown was California governor from 1975 to 1983. He may seek another two terms as governor because he led California before term limits were enacted.

Brown was the mayor of Oakland, Calif., from 1998 to 2006, before being elected as the state's chief legal officer in 2007. He unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nominations for U.S. president in 1976, 1980, and 1992.

The Field Poll, conducted from January 5-17, surveyed 958 likely general election voters. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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