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Padilla significantly outspent opponent in secretary of state race

Alex Padilla, left, is congratulated by former Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante after he was sworn in as secretary of state in Sacramento last month.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Democrat Alex Padilla significantly outspent Republican Pete Peterson on his way to narrowly winning the race for California secretary of state in the November election, according to final campaign finance reports filed Monday.

Padilla, a former state senator, won with 53.6% of the vote.

His campaign reported Monday that it spent $3.8 million.

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Peterson, a Santa Monica resident, reported spending $506,600 on his campaign, including about $12,000 he lent the effort from his own pocket. He spent much of his money on radio ads.

Peterson is executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University.

Both candidates said their priority would be to increase voter participation in elections. The turnout in the November election was 42.2% of registered voters.

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