Gov. Jerry Brown spent less than $6 million on his run for reelection, a remarkably low sum for a California governor, and he finished 2014 with nearly $24 million in the bank for unspecified campaigns ahead, according to newly filed finance reports.
Brown devoted most of his reelection spending -- $5.2 million -- to his campaign for Proposition 1, a water bond measure, and Proposition 2, which bolstered the state’s rainy-day fund. The Democratic governor starred in television ads promoting the ballot measures, which voters passed.
He spent less than $800,000 on other election activities, according to the report his campaign filed with the secretary of state's office.
Brown, who defeated Republican challenger Neel Kashkari, 60% to 40%, had the luxury of saving his campaign cash because high poll ratings and the state's strong Democratic tilt meant he faced little chance that voters would oust him.
Before the election, the governor said he planned to save most of his campaign money for future ballot measures but has not specified what they might be. He also suggested that having a large war chest during his fourth and final term could help him avoid the potential political irrelevance of a lame-duck governor.
Brown’s reelection committee finished 2014 with $19.6 million in cash. A separate ballot measure committee that he controls ended the year with $4.2 million.