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Facebook executive donates $2 million to his campaign for California attorney general

January 5, 2010 |  2:21 pm

By writing a $2-million check to his campaign, Chris Kelly, the chief privacy officer of Facebook, has jumped into the crowded race to be California's next chief law enforcement officer.

With incumbent Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown expected to run for governor, no fewer than six Democratic politicians have lined up to replace him.

Kelly, 39, has been traveling the state for months to gain support. But the infusion of his personal cash, announced today, will allow the Facebook executive to compete with better-known candidates such as San Francisco District Atty. Kamala Harris, who has raised more than $1.5 million, and former Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo, who has collected more than $1.1 million.

"I think we have a chance to help reduce crime and reinvent California government," Kelly said. "I'm willing to invest some of my own capital to make sure it happens."

Three Democratic members of the Assembly, Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) and Alberto Torrico (D-Newark), are also running and each have raised significant sums. Lieu and Torrico each have raised more than $1 million.

Kelly said his was a $2-million check "an initial contribution." "I'm ready to spend what it takes," he said.

On the Republican side, Los Angeles County District Atty. Steve Cooley is considering a run, and Republican state Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach is fundraising for the race.

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento