Gov. Jerry Brown amasses $19.7 million for reelection bid

Brown has raised nearly $3 million this year and spent nearly $95,000.
Brown has raised nearly $3 million this year and spent nearly $95,000.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has built a war chest of $19.7 million to fund his bid for an unprecedented fourth term, easily eclipsing the money raised by his challengers, according to new campaign reports filed with the state.

Brown has raised nearly $3 million this year and spent nearly $95,000, his report shows.

Top contributors include several labor unions, Netflix Inc. co-founder Reed Hastings, Napster co-founder Sean Parker and several descendants of the founders of the Gap Inc., the clothing company where Brown’s wife, Anne Gust Brown, was once an executive.

Each gave $27,200, the maximum allowed by law.


Among the governor’s primary challengers, Republican Neel Kashkari reported bringing in $1.3 million in the two months since he kicked off his campaign. He has $903,478 in his political account, according to his filings.

Kashkari’s campaign hopes to raise several million dollars before the June 3 primary election, to pay for television ads aimed at state voters. If the former U.S. Treasury official continues to raise money at his current clip — averaging $162,500 a week — that goal appears out of reach.

His fundraising dropped off sharply after an initial burst when he announced his bid in January. After raising $1 million in his first two weeks as a candidate, Kashkari raised $300,000 in the next six weeks.

Many of his largest donors had ties to the banking industry and finance. Several contributors are associated with Goldman Sachs, where Kashkari worked before joining the Treasury Department. His old boss, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Paulson’s wife each gave the maximum.

Other big-name donors include former Univision chairman Jerry Perenchio, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch and cellphone pioneer Craig McCaw, who raised significant sums of money for 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Another gubernatorial candidate, Republican state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, reported raising $183,206 from Jan. 1 to March 17, the period covered by the filings. But he spent more than that, leaving only $10,765 in the bank and $148,000 in unpaid bills.

The bulk of Donnelly’s contributions, which have totaled more than $500,000 since he began fundraising, appeared to come from small-dollar donors. Several of them gave the symbolic figure of $17.76.

In contests for other statewide offices, one of the scrappiest is the race for secretary of state, California’s top elections official.


Two candidates, Democratic state Sens. Alex Padilla of Pacoima and Leland Yee of San Francisco, each spent more than $500,000 during the first part of the year. Padilla reported $614,426 left in his political account, while Yee had $135,000.

Dan Schnur, a no-party-preference candidate and former chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, reported $260,441 in the bank. Democrat Derek Cressman, a former director of Common Cause, filed with $77,316 on hand.

Republican candidate Pete N. Peterson, who runs a public policy institute at Pepperdine University, reported $1,637 in available funds.

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) is running for state controller. He has almost $1.8 million in the bank, dwarfing the sum that his main Democratic opponent, state Board of Equalization member Betty Yee, has after spending $439,600 during the reporting period. She has $100,529 on hand.


Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, a Republican, entered the controller race just before the close of the filing period. Her fundraising efforts began after the deadline, said her campaign manager, Tim Clark.

In other statewide campaigns:

• State Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, has $3.16 million for her reelection effort. Republican challenger Phil Wyman, a former state senator who entered the race less than a month ago, had not yet filed a report, but candidates had until midnight Monday to do so. Wyman said he had raised $15,000.

• Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, reported having $1.9 million. Republican challenger Ron Nehring, who entered the race last month, had not filed but said he had raised a little more than $10,000.


• Incumbent Democratic Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has $1.57 million. Challenger Ted Gaines, a Republican state senator from Rocklin, reported $32,000.

One hundred seats are also up for election in the Legislature this year. A highly competitive race is for the 26th Senate District seat being vacated by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who is running for Congress.

Democratic candidates include Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth, with $348,339 on hand; physician Vito Imbasciani, $168,133; former Assemblywoman Betsy Butler, $145,709; and attorney Barbi Appelquist, $4,774.

Other contestants had not filed late Monday.


Times staff writer Melanie Mason contributed to this report.