Whitman refuels campaign, pitching in another $20 million


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Republicans hoping to keep the governor’s seat in party hands can breathe a sigh of relief: Meg Whitman is not running out of money.

Whitman, the billionaire ex-chief of EBay, donated another $20 million to her campaign for governor late Monday afternoon, bringing to $59 million the total she has contributed from her own pocketbook as she seeks to secure the Republican nomination, according to her spokeswoman, Sarah Pompei.


Whitman is far ahead of opponent Steve Poizner, the state insurance commissioner, in public opinion polls for the June 8 primary election, and she holds a narrow lead for the general election against Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, the likely Democratic nominee.

Whitman’s campaign has reported spending nearly $46 million, a record-breaking pace for a California governor’s race, through March 17.

Speculation had been high since her last disclosure filing several weeks ago about when she might write another check and how much it would be for, because she had less than $4.5 million on hand, not enough to keep her army of consultants paid for long. When one reporter asked whether she was worried about having enough money to continue, Whitman laughed.

[Updated at 9:27 p.m.: Poizner spokesman Jarrod Agen reacts: ‘Whitman laughs at the thought of running out of money, while people across California are struggling every day. Never before in U.S. history has someone so blatantly tried to buy an election.’]

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento