On politics in the Golden State

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Brown is thrifty spender in governor's race

February 1, 2010 |  1:07 pm

California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown spent a relatively meager $370,000 last year as he prepared a run for governor, according to campaign disclosures he filed Monday. By contrast, his potential Republican opponent, former EBay chief Meg Whitman, is expected to reveal that she spent more than $19 million.

Brown, who is well-known to voters after decades in politics, has $12.1 million on hand in his campaign accounts as of the end of 2009. He is trying to save his money for later in the year to combat a likely media blitz by either of the wealthy, self-financing Republicans who might take him on -- Whitman or state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.

Brown raised nearly $4.9 million in cash contributions in the second half of 2009. He will have to pick up that pace to counter the spending he is likely to face leading up to November's election for governor, although major party candidates typically have an easier time raising money as they get closer to an election.

-- Michael Rothfeld in Sacramento