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Whitman chips in another $20 million

January 20, 2010 |  9:00 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s campaign spent nearly $19 million in 2009, according to figures provided by her advisers. The former EBay chief executive donated an additional $20 million this week to her gubernatorial effort -- bringing her personal contributions thus far to $39 million.

With the new $20-million infusion, Whitman will have $30.5 million in her gubernatorial bank account, according to a campaign statement. Whitman has said she is willing to spend more than $100 million of her own money in her quest for the governorship.

Whitman’s campaign sought to emphasize that Whitman herself wasn't the only one contributing to her race for governor.

"Meg’s commitment to creating jobs, cutting spending and fixing education has won early and broad support among Californians," said campaign manager Jillian Hasner. "This contribution comes in addition to overwhelming donor support from Californians and shows how fully committed Meg is to winning this election and rebuilding this state.”

Though Whitman’s actual campaign report will not be available until later this month, her campaign says she raised $10.2 million from individual donors in 2009. About $3.5 million of that came in the second half of the year.

Whitman’s massive campaign spending comes before a single television commercial has aired. But she has been advertising on radio for months. On Wednesday, her campaign unveiled a new radio spot that calls for massive cuts in the state’s welfare system.

Whitman’s personal spending is expected to shatter individual spending records. In 1998, Democrat Al Checchi spent more than $40 million in his failed quest for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. In 2006, Democrat Steve Westly spent $35 million on a campaign that lost the Democratic primary to Phil Angelides.

Forbes magazine recently estimated Whitman’s net worth at $1.4 billion. She is up against another mega-rich candidate, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, for the Republican nomination for governor.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento

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