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Calif. Gov. Hopefuls Spent $119.9M

February 3, 1999

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Candidates for governor spent a record $119.9 million in the 1998 governor’s race.

The spending spree _ over a two-year period _ set records in both the primary and general elections.

``We raised more money than God,″ Gary South, Gov. Gray Davis’ campaign manager, joked Tuesday.

Davis and his Republican opponent, Dan Lungren, spent $47.9 million from July 1, 1998, through the end of the year, according to state finance reports they’re filing this week.

That’s a nearly 51 percent increase over the previous record, set in 1994 by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson and Democrat Kathleen Brown at $31.8 million.

Candidates in last June’s primary shelled out a combined $72 million in an 18-month period beginning Jan. 1, 1997, the records showed. They were led by Al Checchi and Jane Harman, two wealthy but unsuccessful Democratic contenders who dipped deep into their own pockets.

Checchi and Harman spent a combined $55.2 million.

The previous primary record was $28.8 million, set by Wilson, Brown and several other candidates.

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