Despite the fact that Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris was coasting to reelection in November, she spent more than $1.2 million on television advertising in Southern California during the closing stretch of the election.
The effort -- aimed at raising Harris' name recognition in this vote-rich region -- appears in campaign finance reports filed with the state on Monday and comes a little over two weeks after Harris launched her campaign for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer.
All told, Harris raised $1.8 million and spent nearly $3.7 million in 2014 on her reelection bid. She had $1.3 million left in the bank, but will not be able to directly transfer that to her Senate campaign account because of different limitations on campaign contributions in state and federal contests.
Harris' opponent, Republican attorney Ron Gold, spent $130,000 on his bid and raised $121,000 in 2014, ending the campaign with $72,000 in debt.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who also faced token opposition in his reelection bid, reported spending $671,000 in 2014 and raising nearly $2 million. He has $3 million left in the bank – money that he could transfer to an account for governor, an office he is widely expected to seek in 2018.
Newsom's opponent, former state GOP chairman Ron Nehring, raised $75,000 for his unsuccessful bid and spent $76,000. He ended the campaign with $1,400 in debt.
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