Republican Neel Kashkari spent more than $7 million on his unsuccessful campaign last year to unseat Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who spent less than $6 million on his run for reelection, financial reports show.
Kashkari’s latest spending report, filed Friday with the secretary of state, underscored the trouble Republicans face in raising enough money to run viable statewide campaigns in heavily Democratic California.
Just $4 million – far less than what gubernatorial candidates typically spend in California – of the $7.1 million that Kashkari spent came from donors. The rest came from his personal fortune.
Kashkari, a former assistant U.S. Treasury secretary and Wall Street banker, had never before run for elected office. Brown defeated him 60% to 40%.
That victory was Brown's second in a row over a Republican opponent who spent more than he did. In 2010, billionaire Republican Meg Whitman spent more than $178 million on her campaign against Brown, who spent just $36 million.
This time, 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. Voters passed both.
Brown spent less than $800,000 on other campaign activities.