Jerry Brown

By Anthony York and Patrick McGreevy
July 31, 2013, 10:13 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown has amassed a political war chest of more than $10 million for a potential reelection effort next year, far outpacing two possible GOP rivals and putting him in a strong position if he decides to seek a fourth term as California’s governor.

Brown has an additional $3 million left over from the campaign to pass his tax measure, Proposition 30, last fall, according to reports filed with the state Wednesday.

Each of Brown’s two potential GOP rivals has less than $50,000 in campaign cash.

Abel Maldonado, the former lieutenant governor who also served in the Legislature, has just $45,000 on hand.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks), another potential Brown challenger, reported just $27,000 in the bank.

Brown’s position heading into 2014 is vastly different from what it was in 2010, when Democrats worried that the then-attorney general was not raising money fast enough to compete with Republican billionaire Meg Whitman. (In the end, Brown spent about $36 million compared to Whitman’s $177 million.)

As the incumbent, Brown would start a potential 2014 run with favorable approval ratings and no declared opponents, in addition to his campaign money.

“Jerry Brown was elected by 13 points in a year when Republicans won 63 House seats and he had an opponent spending $180 million against him,” said Bill Whalen, a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and former chief speechwriter for Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. “The motto of his reelection campaign could be, ‘What, me worry?’ ”

Another Republican, millionaire and former Goldman Sachs executive and investment manager Neel Kashkari, is also considering the race and has the ability to fund his own campaign but has not yet opened a campaign account.

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