Antonio Villaraigosa, the former Los Angeles mayor who waited until late last year to launch his 2018 gubernatorial run, credited a late surge of financial support with helping him raise more than 2.7 million in his first 51 days, a sum he said far surpassed his internal goal.
“Humbled by incredible show of support for campaign to give voice to every Californian,” Villaraigosa wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, his Democratic rival and the leader in early polling, took in nearly $2.7 million over the last six months, bringing his cash reserves to more than $11.5 million.
The tallies provided by the candidates are through Dec. 31, and both still must file campaign finance reports with the state by Jan. 31.
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Villarigosa donors cutting large checks include television host Ryan Seacrest, philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, billionaire farm owner Stewart Resnick and former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez.
Newsom had raised about $727,000 in his first two weeks, and $2.7 million in his first six months of 2015, though he entered the race in February. In a memo targeted to “Key Supporters,” Newsom said he now has more than $11.5 million available for the 2018 campaign.
“We have a long way to go and much more to do (and much more $ to raise!), but thanks to you, we are in a very strong position,” Newsom wrote to the supporters, including results from the latest Field Poll showing him holding a significant early lead.
Treasurer John Chiang raised about $2.3 million in the first 45 days of his campaign, and $1.93 million in the last six-month period. He had more than $3 million left over from a previous run, and finished the year with about $7 million cash on hand.
Also on Tuesday, former state schools chief Delaine Eastin followed through on plans to run for governor by opening a campaign committee. Chiang and Easton are both Democrats.
Others said to be weighing bids include Senate President Kevin de León, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.